The Washington, D.C. Area Bird Watching Guide for 2018

by: Frederick Foote

A fortuitous byproduct of the tomfoolery that defines politics in Washington D.C.: The Capital is awash with avian curiosities. Presenting, The Washington, D.C. Area Bird Watching Guide for 2018…

Table Of Contents

The Orange Headed Turkey Vulture

The McConnell Cardinal

California Bay Area Pelosi Scrub Jay

The Yellow-bellied GOP Sapsucker

The Pence Cuckoo 

 

The Orange Headed Turkey Vulture

The Orange Headed Turkey Vulture (OHTV) Cathartes aura cupiditas is a common carrion eater, scavenging in business fields and along political roadsides.

Foraging

The Orange Headed Turkey Vulture is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its food using its keen eye for exploitation and sharp sense of avarice, flying low enough to detect the gasses produced by the beginnings of the process of decay in dead or dying political parties and the degeneration in commercial and government organizations.

Flight

In flight, it creates thermals to move through the air expelling feted gases from beak and bottom and flapping its lips constantly.

Nesting

It roosts in large xenophobic right wing, evangelical community groups that often include but are not limited to, Tyrant Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo tyrannus), Venal Vireos (Vireo plumbeus circumferuntur venales), and Torture Terns (O. aleuticus cruciate).

The OHTV nests in caves, ostentatious high-rise structures, hollow trees, white houses, or thickets.

Song

Lacking a syrinx—the vocal organ of birds—its only vocalizations are through expelling anal gases in frequent aggressive tweets.

Courtship and Reproduction

Courtship rituals of the male turkey vulture involve frequent, aggressive assaults on female vultures and other females it might encounter of any species during any season.

It generally raises two to three chicks, which it feeds by regurgitation and provides life-long nepotism nourishment.

Self Defense

Its primary form of defense is regurgitating semi-digested reasoning and raw invective, foul-smelling substances, which deters most creature’s intent on approaching an OHTV. This toxic substance will also sting if the offender is close enough to get the vomit in its face or eyes. A secondary form of defense is the raucous anal expulsion of noxious gases.

In some bankruptcy cases, the vulture must rid its crop of a heavy, undigested meal to take flight to flee from a potential creditor. Its life expectancy in the wild ranges upward of 70 years, with an incarceration lifespan of over 75 years being possible.

Environmental Impact

The OHTV is considered an environmental threat by many. The droppings produced by the Orange Headed Turkey Vulture can harm or kill trees and other vegetation. This toxic waste matter renders the OHTV’s roosting grounds unappealing to most other creatures, especially homo sapiens.

Predators

The OHTV has only a few natural enemies including small flocks of Jury Birds which often challenge the OHTV and larger swarms of Democrat Mockingbirds which tend to drown out the tweets of the OHTV.

The primary threat to the OHTV is the Muller’s Hawk (Buteo Justitia). Small flocks of Muller’s Hawks have been seen relentlessly pursuing OHTV’s and driving them from their nesting and feeding grounds.

Prognosis

However, unpleasant it may appear, the Orange Headed Turkey Vulture plays an essential role in nature by consuming carrion and creating a community of carrion creatures. There is no immediate threat to the stable populations of these disgusting but essential fowl.

 

The McConnell Cardinal

The McConnell cardinal (Cardinalis impedienti) is also known colloquially as the red state bird, common mischief cardinal or just cardinal error. It can be found in southern Canada, and through the eastern United States from Maine to Texas,

Its habitat includes woodlands, upper chambers, gardens, county buildings, shrublands, federal legal roost, and Senate swamplands.

Description

The McConnell cardinal is a mid-sized songbird.  It has a distinctive crest on the head, a prominent beak, and a mask of reasonableness on the face which is black in the male and gray in the female. The male is a vibrant Russian red, while the female is an Arabian reddish olive.

Foraging

The McConnell cardinal’s diet is mainly dark campaign feed, and seeds of opposition, but also feeds on blocked judicial nominees, insects, filibuster, fruit, and Garlands.

Song

The male sings in a loud, clear whistle from the top of a tree, dais, or another high location to defend his territory with song. The most famous song is, “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Sung to the tune of Dixie.

Courtship

During courtship, the male feeds seed to the female beak-to-beak and embraces her in his dominant right wing.  A clutch of three to four eggs is laid, and two to four privileged broods are produced. The McConnell cardinal was once prized as a pet, but its sale as a cage bird faltered as its song become shrill, insistent, and threatening.

Predators

McConnell cardinals are preyed upon by a wide variety of predator’s native to the District of Columbia, including but not limited to falcons democratae, and eagles sui iuris, and owls oeconomicam.

Prognosis

This wily songbird that flourishes in swampland may soon be threatened by climate changes that may bring more predators to its habitat.

 

California Bay Area Pelosi Scrub Jay

The California Bay Area Pelosi scrub jay (CBAPSJ) (Aphelocoma californica Pelosi casa orator), is a species of scrub jay native to western North America. The California Bay Area scrub jay is nonmigratory and can be found in urban areas, where it can become tame and will come to PAC feeders of any size. In recent decades, the CBAPSJ has expanded its range East to Washington, D.C..

Description

The CBAPSJ is a medium-sized bird. In general, this species has a blue head, and a preference for blue states. The wings, and tail, are a centrist gray-brown back, grayish underparts, and white bread eyebrows. The throat is whitish with a blue or pearl necklace. The call or “screech” is described as “harsh and scratchy” by critics of the bird’s songs. Others have described the CBAPSJ’s tunes as “music to my ears.”

Foraging

CBAPSJ’s usually forage in pairs, parties, or caucuses, during the legislative session. They feed on small donations, PAC funding, Silicon Valley offerings, corporate grants, and organized labor contributions. They can be hand-fed by donors. 

Intelligence

Recent research has suggested that CBAPSJs, along with several other corvids, are among the most intelligent of animals. The brain-to-body mass ratio of adult scrub jays rivals that of chimpanzees, white supremist, and cetaceans, and is dwarfed only by that of humans. Scrub jays are also the only non-primate or non-dolphin shown to plan ahead for the future (known as metacognition or layaway), which was previously thought of as a uniquely human trait. Other studies have shown that they can remember locations of over 200 donation’s caches, as well as the sums in each cache and its rate of interest.  However, despite its alleged intelligence, until recently, the CBAPSJ has been in population decline in much, if not most, of its habitat.

CBAPSJs also summon other Jays to screech over the body of a dead jay as in the 2016 Clinton Electoral College demise. The Jay’s cacophonous “funerals” can last for up to half a Presidential campaign.

Predators

The Red-shouldered Hawk prefers, swamp or wet lands and promotes conflicts among and between species and readily attacks CBAPSJs on sight.

The White-tailed Evangelical Hawk has been witnessed attacking CBAPSJs in congregational waves.

The Freedom Caucus Rough-legged Hawk is noted for its single-minded aggression against other birds and its shrill, angry call.

Prognosis

The California Bay Area scrub jay has been in retreat in many parts of the US but made remarkable gains in 2018 and appears to have a promising future.

 

The Yellow-bellied GOP Sapsucker

The yellow-bellied GOP sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius opportunist) is a medium-sized peckerwood that inbreeds in rural areas in Canada and the north-northeastern United States. 

Description

The yellow-bellied GOP sapsucker (sapsucker) is a medium sized bird around 7.5 to 8.3 in long, with an average weight of 1.77 oz. The forehead is colored bright indignation red in the male, and a lighter shade of irate red in the female. The sapsucker has a stiff, pompous strut on the ground and favors short darting flights to the right.

Song

The male, Sapsucker utilizes a long-distance nasal “trummmp, “fake-fake”, “news-news” or “be-white, be-white” to attract its mate. Both genders challenge intruders with a raucous, “magda, magda” call.

Forging

The yellow-bellied GOP sapsucker usually forages by itself, although it sometimes joins small caucuses, and frequently mixes into flocks of evangelical loons and reactionary rails.

Dark money tree sap, ill-gotten fruits, and off-the-books nuts compose the majority of the sapsucker’s diet.

Courtship and Reproduction

This bird is a family values fowl, and nests in pairs but frequently has hidden relationships with other birds.

The sapsucker lays a clutch of four to seven eggs in a hollow deciduous tree for a ten to thirteen day incubation period.

Environmental Impact

The feeding habits of the yellow-bellied sapsucker can injure or kill trees and attract insects, it is sometimes considered a pest.

Predators

The sapsucker is in an intensive see-saw conflict with the California Bay Area Pelosi scrub jay (CBAPSJ) for habitat and food.

Prognosis

The sapsucker is thriving at higher elevations but has seen dramatic setbacks at lower elevations. However, there is no danger to the survivability of the species except in California.

 

The Pence Cuckoo

The Pence Cuckoo (Cuculus Pence sacerdos) is a brood parasite cuckoo found from coast to coast in the United States. Brood parasite cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other species forcing the chick raising duties onto other birds.

Description

The cuckoos are generally medium-sized, slender, conservatively colored (grays and browns), mostly tree dwelling birds with a cosmopolitan distribution.

Foraging

The Pence cuckoos feed on insects, piety, insect larvae, antigay emotions, fruit, labor wage sapping, and a variety of prejudices.

Song

The song of on the male of the species is 2-5 sets of “coo-coo-next, coo-coo-trump, coo-coo-next, coo-coo-my turn.” The notes are high-pitched, rapid, repetitive, and unnerving. The female calls are less shrill and in 2-2 sets of, “boo-hoo, boo-hoo.”

Courtship/Breeding

The majority of the species are self-defined “family value birds,” but recent research has found polyandry and polygamy to be rampant among some cuckoos. Cuckoldry is pervasive among eastern seaboard cuckoos.

Prognosis

The outlook for these birds is excellent as they use other birds to rear their young.

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