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Ornithology - the ancient valour of prehistoric birds and the rise of the Age of Chickens

There is too much to dedicate to birds without going into specifics for depth and breadth of this group. Beyond the cornucopia of colour of plumage and the metaphysics of birdsong and Eagles, as well as the debates of Nightingales and Owls, it is the intersection with technology which stands out for me.

Aerodynamics is an obvious source of inspiration but their importance as eco-engineers such as the superb lyrebird, landscaper and comptroller of bushfire management to the conquest by the humble chook reformulated to meet our appetites, and may in the future join the inauspicious title of technofossil alongside nuclear waste, plastic and concrete. The unique paralotes another beacon in the twilight of consumptive human society.

Superb Lyrebird and Sir David Attenborough

Today I thought I'd dedicate an ode to the flightless ones who in-spite of the odds remain with us - the beautiful yet dangerous Cassowary pictured below, a remnant of pre-historic Gondwana. The Emu who learned to run, the chubby amorous Kakapo of New Zealand, and penguins who learned to swim.

Ode to the grounded

You hover the depths of earth

You never envy the lightness of clouds

nor the eagle who claims no fear

Breaking dirt is your bread

A companion to us who cannot fly

A beauty speckled brown,

flashing blue, bits of green

who calls the dawn through dappled shade Cassowary of Daintree Rainforest Australia

Your song ripples danger,

brutal realities of stone

the valour of seeking hollow spots

galling gold to idolatrous winds beneath albatross

Clare L Rolfe © 2020


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