A breakthrough in penguin research ...

To: "knightl" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: A breakthrough in penguin research ...
From: "Alan Gillanders" <>
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2004 17:30:40 +1000

A long time ago I was caring for a Masked Booby which had been taken from
the rookery but would not eat for the adoptive parents. The bird had
tremendous rectal thrust.

This was brought home to me one afternoon while I was sitting on the low
veranda mending a fishing net. The bird, known as " Befor" (as in B for
booby) had once again escaped its enclosure of sticks pushed into the sand
hill on which we lived. As a large black dog approached Befor went into a
threat display with head down, reaching towards the dog and pin feathered
wings held out. Knowing the dog to be rather timid I waited to see what
would happen.

The dog stopped and then edged further forward. In response Befor clapped
its bill vigorously. Again the dog hesitated and moved forward. Another
threat display with clapping bill but when the dog slowly egded forward once
more the booby turned tail. Before I could through the reel from my raised
hand or call out, Befor let fly. The foul smelling excreta flew more than a
metre and with wonderful accuracy painted a white flash down the face of the

That dog never visited our house again!


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