Thursday, June 11, 2015

Argentinean Flamingoes

As we pulled out of town toward Jasper National Park, Mike, our bus driver (who was expert at spotting wildlife) called our attention to the “Argentinean Flamingo” atop a telephone pole.

In unison, 49 of us leaned right and did indeed see a curvaceous pink form aloft.

None of us thought it was indigenous to Alberta, Canada.

49 pairs of eyes bored into the back of Mike’s head.

He explained. Osprey build their nests near water on a high perches -- the telephone pole was right by a little river.  Every year they come back, adding more material to the nest. It can get pretty messy. And that, in turn, can thoroughly screw up telephone calls.

Many experts, with all due environmental, ecological and biological consideration, sought solutions. Some proposed elaborate (and expensive) devices to discourage osprey from building nests atop telephone poles.

One line repairman had another idea. He went to Home Depot and bought a plastic pink flamingo for $10 Canadian. He placed it atop the telephone pole. Problem solved. No nest.

Elsewhere on our Canadian journey, we saw an osprey nest atop a pole specifically designed to hold an osprey nest. The chick resting inside seemed pleased. And the nearby telephone line was unscathed.

Would that all dilemmas could be solved so simply.


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