Southwest Wings Birding Festival

Had a blast yesterday in Bisbee, Arizona, representing the American Birding Association at Southwest Wings. Alison and Darlene generously came along, letting me slip away from the busy table once in a while to chat with friends old and new and to admire the materials on offer at this excellent festival.

The ABA table was directly across from an exhibit of live animals of the southwest. For the most part, they were what you’d expect, skunks and such; among the partly rehabilitated birds on display were a Great Horned Owl, a Swainson’s Hawk, and a Western Screech-Owl. Less usual, though, were a Burrowing Owl, a Merlin, and (get this) a Black-crowned Night-Heron.

The heron was tethered to a carefully constructed miniature habitat group of fake cattails and bulrushes, and perched in motionless splendor, it looked exactly like a very well-done mount. Taxidermy turned on its head: a live animal made to look like a dead one!