Homer, Alaska is renowned as one of the great birdwatching areas in the world, and early May in particular brings a massive migration of shorebirds to the coastal areas near town. Millions of these avian sojourners stop in to take advantage of the mudflats exposed by Kachemak Bay’s 28′ tidal range, and we plan to spend a week before work sitting and staring at them.
We sit now at terminal N1 of the Seattle airport and stare at a similar group of travelers. Only here, the Burger King serves as the mudflat and the weary businessmen the plovers. We watch as Black-suited Paperpushers (Doldrumus corporatus) peck away with lukewarm joie de vie, pale compared to the joyous feast of a flock of birds on an outgoing tide. A few more interesting differences became apparent after a cursory view through an avianomorphic lens.
-When the birds fatten up, their probability of a sexual encounter increases.
-One group feeds on putrefying, salt encrusted, insect laden filth, and the birds simply forage on the beach.
-There are only 10 million birds on the mudflat at any one time; there are double that milling about the terminal right now.
-We have CNN and Fox News to to tell us how the world works. The birds, relying only on their hungers and their fears, are much less misinformed than we are.