This Forum is for the Birds! (Or, Is Gary North really Foghorn Leghorn?) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

While pondering the Naval War College's designation of opposing perspectives on the Y2K problem, and their characterization of the intellectual arena as a barnyard, it occurred to me that our own little patch of the internet (this forum) is a smaller version of that and that we have our own "birds" here.

While trying to decide if I was a "rooster" or an "owl", it not only became clear to me that I was neither, but that there are (as Flint has pointed out) folks here who represent the entire spectrum of bird species.

I have always thought of myself as a hawk, and it seems appropriate with reference to my views on Y2K as well. Robert Cook must surely be a penguin as there is no other bird that I know of that is so expert at underwater operations and Diane has to be a Dove.

Decker (quite obviously) is a buzzard, complete with "baited breath" and the "pollys" may be no more than a gang of Blue Jays, although it is clear that Paul Davis truly represents the owl family.

Gary North (although technically not a forum "member" surely represents the epitome of all roosters and may even be Foghorn Leghorn in disguise, or maybe even Chanticleer!

Now I have my own impressions of a lot of others, but I've purposely stopped here in hopes that some of the rest of you will offer up your perceptions.

I must confess, I really want to know who is seen as an albatross, a cardinal, a robin, a sparrow, and I'm especially keen to know who appears to everyone (or anyone) as a plover (kill-deer).

Magpies, crows, ravens, seagulls and swallows all come readily to mind, and I'd really like to know what you all think!

-- Hardliner (, June 30, 1999


Hardliner, IMHO I believe that time grows short with regard to y2k and that our efforts should be directed at asisting others to understand the potential gravity of the situation. In addition we should be helping everyone in their preparations.


-- Ray (, June 30, 1999.

I know that I'm a Great Blue Heron. It's my nature to be cautious and flighty. I also typically live a solitary life but I am always keeping an eye on the world around me.

-- (, June 30, 1999.


I understand your good intentions and you are certainly correct about the time being short. It may even be so short that all an understanding of the situation will avail one is knowledge of what is to overcome them without chance to avoid it.

Be that as it may, I've always found that the ability to laugh, even in the face of deadly peril, has been as valuable an asset as 8000 pounds of JP4.

It would seem as well that there is general agreement with that belief among the community of those who study psychology (although Spock would characterize them as not far advanced above witch doctors).

As for myself, just so that it doesn't cause my demise, I'd rather die laughing than crying.

-- Hardliner (, June 30, 1999.

Hardliner: I never thought I would say that a thread you started was for the birds, but, well, here ya go! LOL. Due to my consistently asking questions without answers, plus allegorical ramblings, and being the unhonoured leader of the Forum FRL, put me down as a DoDo bird.

-- Rob Michaels (, June 30, 1999.

Pollyannas - must be parrots (wanna cracker?) Too many to mention - ostriches OutingsR - mockingbird Mutha, Super Polly, others - peacocks (who can stand that screeching and strutting?) Taz - swan (fierce defender of her family) Andy and Dieter - goony birds (a protected species too!) Diane and Brian - towhees (because they turn over every bit of mulch to find useful stuff)

Most of us are wrens, though--very loud and prompt at alerting others when danger is near, excellent nest-builders, hard workers, and good providers. Me? Carolina wren, of course.

-- Old Git (, June 30, 1999.

Hardliner, you are correct, the ability to transcend difficult times requires an exceptional attitude along with the ability to maintain ones sense of humor.

Let the games begin !!


-- Ray (, June 30, 1999.

It is difficult to place cross specie labels - bears to birds don't compute.

However, in this instance I will yield to the majority vote. That is the majority of those wags who know me and generally reffer to me as a turkey.

Enjoyable that bird watching.


-- Got Binoculars?

-- Greybear (, June 30, 1999.

Is nOT RAy a RA(y)VeN???????

""""SSkkqqqqaaaAAACccKKK, NevERMOrE""""!!!!!

"""sssssskQQaaaAAAAAAAAAAAaaaCCCkkkkk, neVErmoRE""!!!!!!


-- Dieter (, June 30, 1999.

Good point DeITeR,

and Will continue is the classic Magpie.

-- Bob (bob@bob.bob), June 30, 1999.

Flint reminds me of a squirrel (flying, of course, to fit the category). He sees both sides but he can't make up his mind which side to run to so he ends up getting flattened by the y2k diesel barreling down the road.

-- audubon (, June 30, 1999.

I guess I would be a "bird-dog"...; )


The Dog

-- Dog (Desert, June 30, 1999.

and Jerry Mathers as....

the Beaver

-- ward (, June 30, 1999.

Come New Year's Eve, the New Zealand folks will be the canaries in the coal mine.

-- Codejockey (, June 30, 1999.

I guess I'm just a rooster that loves to watch the hens get down and dirty in the mud.

-- King of Spain (, June 30, 1999.

I'm a canary in a coalmine. Gimme out! No oxygen down here!

-- lisa (, June 30, 1999.

Meadowlark here.

-- Wilferd (, June 30, 1999.

(Dare I say it?) There must be a cuckoo analog out there somewhere...

-- Tom Carey (, June 30, 1999.

I guess sometimes I feel like the California Condor. Factors beyond my control could affect the ability of not just myself but my entire species to survive. It would be nice to find a new patch of forest to get lost in before we all go extinct.

Or, maybe the Pelican. A beautiful bird from a distance in flight but a little odd up close. Still, it's endangered too.

But I guess I'll settle on the California Quail, our state bird, officially adopted on June 12, 1931.

Form research I've learned that "like other quail species, California quails spend most of their time on the ground. But when frightened, they may suddenly explode in flight."

Yep, that's pretty much me right now, ready to explode into flight (unless something else explodes around here first : )

Mike =============================================================

-- Michael Taylor (, June 30, 1999.

Unc D,

In Robert Bakkers' book "Dinosaur Heresis" 1986, he suggests dino's may have evolved from the class Avis (sp?). If so, I say DieTeR is a Pterodactyl, Andy's gotta be a Raptor, Decker would fancy himself a Toodon (sp?), I'd put you, Unc D in, the Tyrannosaur family, though not quite a T-Rex. Also gotta lot of Polly-Duckbills running around the forum. An occasional "honk" and off they run.

Polly wanta:




4)Continental collision

5)Bad hair day?

-- Triceratops (, June 30, 1999.

LOL... Hardliner!

Humm. Think Id qualify as a shape-shifting bird. Some daze a Dove, others an Eagle, at times a messenger Hawk, others a mystical Raven, but mostly a mud-wren... digging.


-- Diane J. Squire (, June 30, 1999.


Big mistake there to mention mud on a forum which contains the King of Spain. (grin)

-- Anita (, June 30, 1999.

We forgot the ostrich, the most appropriate for the masses.

-- (, June 30, 1999.

i must be, the cooked goose.i dared to ask why. GOT DELETED TO-DAY. TOUCHED A RAW NERVE. the man in the ivory-tower, told me to fuck-off.i got it in my e-mail.

-- al-d. (, June 30, 1999.


Sir, I have always pictured you more as the Peregrine Falcon. Swift, unerringly accurate, and very deadly in the effects.

That 8000 pounds of JP4 is good. We had to be at high fix with not less than 20000 pounds. How's that for a fuel reserve?

Myself? More as a wild turkey, I suppose. Just can't be tamed, and very hard to find at times. And not really comfortable around people.



-- sweetolebob (, June 30, 1999.


-- Lane Core Jr. (, June 30, 1999.

"Dear" Anita,

Who knows... maybe we are. KingOS... the bantam rooster with spurs... would love it.

Actually, today in Silly Valley it's gonna be a scourcher... mud sounds cooling. Bet we get another Emergency Electricity Alert today... yesterday was a Stage 1 Alert.



-- Diane J. Squire (, June 30, 1999.


What's with the "WE?" I meant to ask you when you mentioned your electricity alert before if it had been abnormally hot in California lately. T.U. oftentimes has a hard time supplying electricity to everyone here in Texas during the hot months of summer due to air- conditioning. Other northern cities are hit even harder by hot spells and their electricity demands because northern folks don't have the thinned blood required to endure the heat. Chicago loses several elderly folks due to heat-stroke every summer.

Your remark about the rooster with the spurs got me to thinking about the "rules" some Texans live by, however:

TEXAN'S GUIDE TO LIFE Don't squat with your spurs on. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier 'n puttin' it back in. If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there. If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him... The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day. There's two theories to arguin' with a woman. Neither one works. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'. Never slap a man who's chewin' tobacco. It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep. Always drink upstream from the herd. When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don't be surprised if they learn their lesson. When you're throwin' your weight around, be ready to have it thrown around by somebody else. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket. Never miss a good chance to shut up. There are three kinds of men. - The one that learns by reading. - The few who learn by observation. - The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves

-- Anita (, June 30, 1999.


I am highly flattered and greatly complimented by your evaluation. I shall do my utmost to live up to it.

As for 20,000 pounds, I can't imagine it without also imagining springs and needles popping out of fuel gauges! It's the apples and oranges bit except it would be more like comparing "Beaudreaux" to a fire breathing dragon to compare anything I ever drove to that "Death Star" that you flew around in!

Wild Turkey is good--in all senses of the name. The bird is as you say and the bourbon is also not easily tamed and frequently hard to find but is always truly high octane pleasure. That fits you as well.

In the matter of Falcons again, while the Corps has 'cats and Hornets and Hawks and Stallions and such, it would appear that the Air Force has a lock on all the Falcons. What we need to deal with Y2K is the Millenium Falcon, and here we are, stuck with the Taker Thunderbolt. It's enough to drive an ol' Jarhead to drink, I tell ya'! And that brings us back to Wild Turkey! To Your Very Good Health, Sir!

-- Hardliner (, June 30, 1999.


Though I don't post here often, I must admit that I am disappointed that you have to ask who the robin is .

-- Robin S. Messing (, June 30, 1999.

Hardliner, I'd have thought you'd be a Harrier. . .

King of Spain, yup, mudlark.

And let's not forget the state bird of Louisiana--the mosquito--or Monty Python's Norwegian Blue parrot. I vote Rob Michaels for the latter. Decker - puffin or perhaps pouter pigeon.

-- Old Git (, June 30, 1999.

anitas a mean tempered parrot

-- bunky (birdz@anon.less), June 30, 1999.


Annita has never pissed on an electric fence ; )

-- CT (ct@no.yr), June 30, 1999.

I'll take the cow bird. Their song 'stands out' from all the rest and they're smart enough to lay their eggs in other's nests. (there have been times that I've wished I'd thought of that!)

-- Will continue (, June 30, 1999.


You've gotta be right about the cuckoo! And, has anyone spotted the shrew?


I meant no slight, and I actually did think of you when I mentioned robins, but to be honest, I see you (in your library) as much more of an owl of some sort than a robin out grubbing in the dirt for bugs and worms. Besides, it's no fair to use your real name!

Old Git,

A Harrier is a hawk, Circus cyaneus, otherwise known as the Marsh Hawk! To be honest though, the Harrier aircraft (AV-8) is more like a hummingbird than a hawk. It's not generally known that hummingbirds are such ferocious birds, but they have been known to drive off a full grown eagle in aerial combat. I guess it would never do though, for the Marine Corps to fly anything named, "Hummingbird"! (Egad! What a thought!)

I think it may have been before you joined us, but the state bird of Louisana appears to have a name (according to S.O.B.) and it is "Beaudreaux", a five pound mosquito! He even has a red light on one wing and a green light on the other!

It seems apparent to everyone, that KOS must be a mudlark, with a "thing" for mudhens. . .

Wasn't Monty's parrot dead though? (Oh, no! why did I ask that?)

As for Decker, although I've noticed those characteristics too, I think it likely that he only had a puffin or perhaps a pouter pigeon (or perhaps both) "in the woodpile". If it walks like a buzzard and squawks like a buzzard. . .

and Bunky,

All parrots are mean tempered if you mess with 'em and the ones in Texas especially so, but Wow! Are they ever fine lookin' birds! Smart, too!

-- Hardliner (, June 30, 1999.

Roight then, you lot! ...

C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this parrot what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.

O: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?

C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!

O: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.

C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.

O: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!


and so forth. Very, very silly indeed...

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), June 30, 1999.

Kiwi, survivor so far, see for further info.

-- Bob Barbour (, June 30, 1999.

Since I'm a card carrying Old Crow, if the Weasel has to be a bird, it's gotta be a raven for me. I lived around them in Southern Cal and I got to appreciate them for what they were: highly intelligent, creative, big, ugly, survivors that made a lot of noise.

They demonstrated that they were adaptable in learning how to take advantage of human activity and in doing so they flourished. We all should be so lucky in the coming months.

And Hardliner and Sweetolbob; I'd take 20,000lbs of JP4 any day, it's full fuselage and wing capacity (8.2/12.5) and almost full externals. I could drive around all day on that much stuff!


-- Wildweasel (, June 30, 1999.


Ditto on the Raven. The raven is also the contributer of light to mankind in ancient myth. A very respected bird. Tough to. You should see them in the Arctic. -40 and they all line up on the wires and chat to each other. Hundreds of them. Quite the beast.

-- Brian (, June 30, 1999.

You've gotta be right about the cuckoo! And, has anyone spotted the shrew?

Shrew: "Any of various small, chiefly insectivorous mammals of the family Soricidae, resembling a mouse but having a long, pointed snout and small eyes and ears. Also called shrewmouse."

-- Lane Core Jr. (, June 30, 1999.

After Y2K, the phoenix will arise...

-- Randolph (, June 30, 1999.


You're quite right, shrews are not any kind of birds.

BRAIN CHECK! I don't even have any excuse. I promise I knew better, but for some reason, shrews got to be birds, at least in my nerve knot.

There's no tellin' how many more times I'd have made a fool of myself if you hadn't piped up. Thank you.

-- Hardliner (, July 01, 1999.

Double-Decker = Cuckoo

y2k pro = Turkey

Chicken Little = Chick

Mutha = Lovebird

Flint = Great Bearded Tit

-- Andy (, July 01, 1999.

guess I'm a carrion bird,ready to pick at the rancid flesh of the unprepaired

-- zoobie (, July 01, 1999.

Hardliner -

Maybe you were thinking of a shrike, which is the bird I'm "signing up" for, specifically . It's a medium-sized songbird with bird of prey characteristics, which can even imitate the songs of several other birds. Plumage is silver-grey, which is all too true for me.

-- Mac (
sneak@lurk.hid), July 01, 1999.


...which might explain why I occasionally have trouble with HTML!!!

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), July 01, 1999.

If I had to be a bird, consider me to be a penguin in training. It gets cold up here in the winter, and I like to keep my tailfeathers warm, thankyewverymuch.

If things go bad, I'll have to ice-fish more than usual, but I don't minding treading across the ice to get to my favorite fishing spot :-)

-- Tim (, July 01, 1999.

I think Hardliner was thinking of "Shrike".

-- lisa (, July 01, 1999.

Or perhaps the snipe?

-- flora (***@__._), July 01, 1999.

The shrike or butcher bird is a wonderful choice. It possesses the beak of a raptor or bird of prey, and the singing talents of the passerines as well as their perching feet. Have you ever seen them store their quarry along the barbs of a fence?

For the fliers, some poetry by Robinson Jeffers [sorry about the formatting]

The Vulture

I had walked since dawn and lay down to rest on a bare hillside Above the ocean. I saw through half-shut eyelids a vul- ture wheeling high up in heaven, And presently it passed again, but lower and nearer, its orbit narrowing, I understood then That I was under inspection. I lay death-still and heard the flight-feathers Whistle above me and make their circle and come nearer. I could see the naked red head between the great wings Bear downward staring. I said, "My dear bird, we are wasting time here. These old bones will still work; they are not for you." But how beautiful he looked, gliding down On those great sails; how beautiful he looked, veering away in the sea-light over the precipice. I tell you solemnly That I was sorry to have disappointed him. To be eaten by that beak and become part of him, to share those wings and those eyes-- What a sublime end of one's body, what an enskyment; What a life after death.

-- flora (***@__._), July 01, 1999.

Three Shrikes and you're out.

-- Randolph (, July 01, 1999.

Turns out that I can't be a DoDo bird after all. They're extinct! So, OLD GIT, I guess I will take you up on your suggestion for me - Monty Python's Norwegian Blue parrot. Uh, well, this wasn't from the ROFL "Dead Parrot" sketch, was it?

-- Rob Michaels (, July 01, 1999.

I'll be the famous Aussie Kookaburra, also known as the Laughing Jackass!

-- Ron Davis (, July 02, 1999.

Shrikes, related to mocking birds, are noted for their habit of hanging their prey on spines or barbs for later consumption. Although they have a "toothed" upper beak like a falcon, they have neither the characteristic hook of a raptor nor the soft tissue at the base of the beak, know as "nares"---an attribute shared only by columbids (pigeons, doves)and parrotiforms.

Sorry, Hardliner, although harriers, owls and vultures qualify as raptors, only Buteos (Redtail hawks and other broadwings)and Accipiters (Goshawks, Cooper hawks and their allies) are privileged to be called hawks.

One of the most beautiful harriers is the Elanus kite which is not uncommon in Southern CA and Northern Mexico. All white with grey wingtips and beautiful black eye-shadow around a red eye. They hover in place over the hills like a Kestrel. Reminds me a little of Faith or Lisa, perhaps.

I've lived with several Kestrels (frequently called Sparrowhawks in America) as well as Cooper Hawks, Red tails and a Gos. Kestrels are attractive and smart with great personalities and incredibly flying abilities. I'd like to be reincarnated as a Kestrel.

And because nobody has asked, "Hallyx" is a creative misspelling of "hallux": the large hind talon of a bird-of-prey, the one that pierces the heart.


"Have you tried these things. You should.

These things are fun. And fun is good." --- Dr. Seuss

-- (, July 02, 1999.


Your disagreement is not with me, but with Dr. Lester L. Short, who is (or maybe was) Curator of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History. He is the authority who "passed" on the information about birds in Harper & Row's Complete Field Guide to North American Wildlife (Copyright 1981, ISBN 0-06-181163-7).

On page 47:


Family Accipitridae

Kites are graceful, falcon-shaped hawks with pointed wings. . .

The accipiters, or bird hawks (Genus Accipiter),. . .

The buteos (genus Buteo) are medium-sized to large hawks. . .

The eagles are essentially very large hawks. . .

Harriers are slender birds of prey that hunt small birds or rodents in open rangeland. They have slim wings and long tails and fly lazily at low altitude, on dihedral wings.

On page 56:


Circus cyaneus

Description. . .

Similarities. . .

Habitat. . .

Habits. . .

Voice. . .

Food. . .

Eggs. . .

Former name
Marsh Hawk

Now I'm certainly not an expert on birds (would you believe that I once thought, although only for a very short time which was preceded and followed by the understanding that they are not, that shrews were birds?) but it appears to me that the matter of whether harriers are hawks or are only called hawks is one that there may be some disagreement on, among those who actually are bird experts.

As I've already made a fool of myself once on this thread (if not many more times), I'm going to go with Dr. Short and call harriers and kites and eagles all hawks. It's all simply the White Man's attempt to impose his brand of thinking on Creation anyway, and I'm sure that Nature considers each species that exists as unique and valuable in its own right.

Others' mileage may vary.

-- Hardliner (, July 02, 1999.

Thanks, Hardliner. On this point of classification, I must defer to Dr. Short. I've enjoyed a couple of his "Natural History" treatises on birds of prey. It's been a long time since I've practiced the noble art of Falconry. I guess my memory slipped. (Won't be the first nor the last time.)

Among falconers, only the hunting hawks (short-winged accipiters, long winged buteos plus eagles and, especially, falcons) are prized. Although I guess that anything not a vulture nor eagle can be correctly, if colloquially, refered to as hawks.

Butin this, I am in heartfelt agreement with you, sir: "It's all simply the White Man's attempt to impose his brand of thinking on Creation anyway, and I'm sure that Nature considers each species that exists as unique and valuable in its own right."



"Life is not measured by the breath you take, it is measured by what takes your breath away." ---Miss Megan Celia Koster

-- (, July 03, 1999.

"Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment."

Buckminster Fuller

-- flora (***@__._), July 03, 1999.


-- The Raven (E@Poe._), November 20, 1999.

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