Bird Of Pray

Buzzard On Electric Pole
Buzzard On Electric Pole

A long time ago, when I was still enthusiastic and youthful, (now, of course, I am merely old and youth-less) I lived in Africa. I can remember the great excitement of having electricity installed on the farm. The overhead lines had to be brought from where the line currently ended, about ten miles away, across our farm, on their way to connect the several other agricultural establishments who were sharing the cost with us.

We had hardly relaxed into this new world where lights could be switched on, instead of having to be pumped up and then have the methylated spirit lit to heat the mantle before the paraffin would ignite, when a flock of flamingos flew over the cables, leaving eight or ten burned corpses on the ground under the wires, in their wake. Flamingos, with their long trailing legs, are large enough to touch two wires at a time and this is fatal.

This is quite a common occurrence –  large raptors and owls are especially at risk as they use electricity post and pylons for perching when hunting. Taking off with wings wide spread is asking for electrocution. In Australia and America many bush and forest fires are believed to have been started when a burning bird falls on the dry undergrowth beneath the power line.

Let’s hope our guy has his fingers crossed when he takes off.

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