Just to reenforce this aspect of my personality: I dont like birds.
Yes, they are pretty, as long as they are ‘over there’ and arent all up in my face about being birds. I mean, Im not all up in their face screaming “IM A HUMAN”, rite?
Anyway, I think birds instinctively know that I dont like them.
Arnie and I go on the same walkie route 1-3 times a day. Every Spring, there is one god damned bird… one god damned bird that gets all bitchy about his nest or chicks or something, and freaks the hell out whenever anyone (but especially me and Arnie) get too close to his nest. And by ‘too close’, I mean ‘within 5 miles of his nest’.
Arnie and I will just be minding our own business… and then we hear it…
Homeboy starts dive-bombing me and Arnie.
It does not matter how drastically we change our walkie route, we will be running along…
One day, when we were being attacked, one of my professors was getting out of his car. All he sees is me screaming and laughing and running and Arnies tail tucked between his legs. I holler at his puzzled look “THERES A BIRD ATTACKING US!” Cue another dive-bomb:
Professor: “HOLY CRAP!”
Me running: “ITS OKAY, HE DOES THIS ALL THE TIME.”
But I did have the pleasure of meeting the most terrifying creature I have ever encountered.
… The skua.
This is a skua.**
IM A SKUA! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!
These guys look like birds on steroids, even when they are just hanging out. And while they eat penguin eggs, I got the distinct impression that they would not mind feasting on my juicy, juicy eyeballs. These things would just hover, like, two feet away from your head. And then theyd fly off for a sec… only to come back with a buddy. Or four.
Me: Oh god… oh dammit…
Skua: IM A SKUA!
Me: (not making eye contact) I dont have anything you want!
Skua: IM A SKUA!!
Three more skuas: SKUAHHHHH!
Me: THE SKUAS ON THE LAST LANDING TOOK ALL MY CASH! Here! Take my watch! And my sunglasses! My credit cards are on the boat, I swear! Just leave me alone!
On the bright side, I didnt have to take their ‘affection’ personally. The goddamn pic of an Antarctic skua on wikipedia is a skua clearly about to kill the very photographer taking the shot:Im assuming his widow uploaded the image.
But apparently when these guys get to the Galapagos, another even larger, more assholier bird picks on the skuas. Perhaps there is divine justice after all.
** I didnt get any good pics of the skuas, as they stole my camera and pawned it at Port Lockroy. These images are from a new friend of mine who is a professional photographer in the CT area. Email me for his dox if you need a photographer!