Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, April 10, 2006

Illegal Immigrants!!!

Betcha They Got No Green Card!!

Saw an interesting sight on the way back from my sister's place outside of Austin. I'd gone the Bastrop/Smithville/Flatonia route so I could stop off at the 7-11 in Smithville to feed my Slurpee addiction. Amazingly enough, both the Coke and Cherry flavors were up and running, so I got my preferred Cherry Coke Slurpee.

I head out of Smithville towards Flatonia and the I-10 interchange, and 12 miles south of town, I see this ugly spud swoop outta the sky and land next to the road.

Thought it was some kind of mutated buzzard at first, but it wasn't. It quickly dashed into the underbrush, slipping through a fence easily. I just assumed one of the exotic game ranchers in the area had one of their imported fowl wander off.

Saw another one a few miles south, though. This one was flapping around over head, and didn't look anything like a buzzard from underneath. Same long skinny legs and white neck.

Got home and did a little research on the web, and it turns out the mystery bird is called a Crested Caracara. It's a Central and South American bird that's been slowly migrating up into the United States. Where I spotted those two is near the extreme end of their known range, so these birds were a couple of avian pioneers.

They still crossed the border illegally, though. No doubt they'll have a nest full of younguns, then start sending dead lizards, snakes and rodents back down to family in Mexico via Western Union...