A Bad Case

We all get them from time to time. You’re minding your own business, happy with your birds and then it happens. From the corner of your eye you see it. A long lens on a camera, a swoon-worthy scoop. Whatever it is for you, it hits.

I was working a school science day this Friday.  It should have been a stellar day.  I was hanging out with an owl. Then I saw it.

Who doesn't want to hold an African Penguin? Taken on April 11, 2014.

Who doesn’t want to hold an African Penguin?
Taken on April 11, 2014.

A penguin.

There was a penguin at science day.

There are people, locally, who get to work with penguins.  See penguins. Every day. Who get to be bitten by penguins. Who get to know each penguin by call. Who get to smell the stench of fish continuously.  Know their genealogies and personalities. Get to lug around all 7-10 pounds of penguins.

The penguin is an African Penguin.  The Jenkinson’s Aquirium has several penguins in their exhibit. These penguins prefer room temperatures, live in large colonies and can eat 20 fish in a swimming.  They need to live with at least 5 other penguins to be happy.  They can tell individual people apart and have preferences for certain people over others.  Some prefer people to other penguins.

 

Ooooh, the envy!

During one of my breaks I got to catch their workshop.  I caught up with them right before they left so I got to be up close with a penguin! I even saw penguin love from a mere foot or two away.  They make a twittery sound and lower their bobbing heads to show affection.  (Owls just balefully disdain you from afar.)

It looks horrible, but context is important! African Penguin in a traveling case to return to its aquarium. Taken on April 11, 2014.

It looks horrible, but context is important! African Penguin in a traveling case to return to its aquarium. Taken on April 11, 2014.

Turns out the woman who working with the penguin was experiencing similar angst.  She had a thing for owls the way I have a thing for penguins (and owls).

By the way, the owl and penguin weren’t sure what to think of each other.  Perhaps never in this history of this planet has an African Penguin met a Barred Owl.

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