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Sunday, February 11, 2024

Odd creatures from "The Heart of Dixie"

 One thing people notice when visiting Alabama and that is the fact that one can find an abundance of wildlife, amphibians, fish, birds, and 14 gazillion species of insects that emit sounds, light, smells and almost all of those sting or bite. We have mosquitoes around here that can stand flatfooted and mate with turtles. Of course the last part might be a stretch, but we do have some interesting species that are found no where else on the planet. Places like Dismal Canyon, Sipsey Wilderness Area/Bankhead National Forest and some of the creeks/environs in my county are such places (i.e. salamanders, turtles, darters). There are 43 species of snakes in the state. Six of those are venomous. I was surfing the interwebz and found this article and thought it would at least be more interesting than the "Swifty Bowl". 










The impaling was done by the cute little songbird above named the "Loggerhead Shrike". We call them "butcherbirds" .

Click HERE to read more.



17 comments:

  1. I remember Butcher Birds! You go out along your fence line, especially if you have barb wire strung on top and find all kinds of insects, small mammals and reptiles impaled on the upright barb, another place is exposed sticks in trees. Watching them, the little shrike was fearless!

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  2. Northern Shrike in Alaska. Same same as butcher bird. Wreaks havoc on local songbirds during the summer.

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  3. Saw a Soft Shell Turtle on the Alabama side of West Point Lake once years ago that had a shell diameter or at least 24". I didn't know they got that big. He came up right next to the boat while we were fishing. I hope he's still out there.

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  4. Can they do democrats? Asking for a friend.

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  5. Shrike, yes. Watched one in action one spring morning. Brutal bastards.

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  6. The Germans called the BMW radial engine Focke Wulf 190 the Butcher Bird (Wurger) and I saw a snake like that off trail at the nearby walk/jog park as it was busy digesting.
    Haven't been to the "Redneck Riviera" Gulf Shores in quite a few years and hopefully it isn't strip mall subdivision eye sore.
    The trolley to Dauphin Island was a highlight and top floor restaurant with ocean view.
    Turn left for Florida, right for Mississippi and Louisiana where I-65 ends at the ocean.

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  7. My understanding is the stories about Kenny Stabler are legendary-he the retired Raiders QB who retired back home in Alabama somewhere next to the Gulf. So yes, Kenny was kind of an Odd Creature-and he sure loved life.

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    Replies
    1. Similar, but different to Jimmy Buffet who was also spent a lot of time on Alabama's Gulf Coast. LOL

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    2. Kenny lived on Ono Island...very near Orange Beach.

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  8. I guess I live right on the edge of Shrike territory. In January I saw my first one, took down a finch or something, beat it to death, and flew off within 20 seconds.

    Now I know what it's name really is besides Stone Cold Awesomeness...

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  9. "There are 43 species of snakes in the state. Six of those are venomous."

    Only 6? Those aren't snakes, these (welcome to Australia) are snakes!

    C. Dundee.

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  10. Working billboards from Mobile to Pensacola. My encounters with Pygmy Rattlers were numerous. They let you know before you get close.

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  11. The Shrike. Has anyone read Hyperion by Dan Simmons? Great science fiction.

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    1. Always on the lookout for good SF. Thanks for the tip.

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  12. We had those alligator turtles in South Florida when I was a kid. That's a medium sized one in the picture, they get larger. Those things are the meanest things you have ever seen - I'm much more afraid of them than those lazy alligators.

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    1. Those Snappers will take off a foot, hand, fingers or toes without batting an eye. Even the devil watches his ass around them.

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