Tag Archives: bird

Biodiversity challenge – Mangrove finch

Swamped

Darwin’s darling,
One foot
In the tomb.
The famous finch
One inch
From doom.
Oppressed by
Uninvited guests,
One hundred
Beaks unique
To Isabela’s
Salty womb
Hunker down
Inside their
Hundred hectare
Panic room.
A wing,
A prayer,
One square
Kilometre of light
Amid the gloom.
One final fling:
Bring on the
Baby boom.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2015

Biodiversity challenge – Kagu

Grey spirit 

Phantom of the forest,
Ghost of Caledonia past,
Caught yapping.
Earthbound, hapless
Headdress chicken,
Easy meat.
Not flying, but flapping.
Feral future lapping
At your coral feet.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2015

Biodiversity challenge – Adzebill

The final cut

Mini moa
Lookalikes,
Gone with Gondwanaland.
Zealandia expands,
Contracts.
A continent divides;
Man conquers,
Multiplies,
Subtracts
From North and South
The axe-beaked islanders.
Sum total:
Minus two,
Remainder none.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2015.

Biodiversity challenge – Shoebill

Bigmouth strikes again
Shoebill close-up

Shoebill close-up

Blast from the prehistoric past,
Ugly sister who swallowed the slipper.
Feather-clad freak with a murderous beak,
Mighty mouth munching your lungfish booty.
Monstrous beauty, tough as old boots,
Cobbled together by some clever clogger.
Top of the bill, but will it last?

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

Biodiversity challenge – Trinidad piping guan

Guan tomorrow?

If less is more
We have excess of this
Declining frugivore,
Red-listed, red-legged
Blue-faced piper
At the gates of dusk.
Demi-gone denizen
Of montane slopes,
A fading grace,
Hopes shrinking
Faster than your forest,
Sinking without trace
Beneath the race
For timber, land
And pot roast.
Not yet wholly ghost,
But close.
Going, going, guan.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

Species profile: Trinidad piping guan

IUCN Red List Category: Critically Endangered

As its name implies, the Trinidad piping guan is endemic to that particular island. Formerly widespread, it is now restricted to a single area in the mountainous north-east. The pawi, as it is known locally, has very distinctive markings including white wing patches, red legs and blue dewlap and cere. It feeds on fruit and seeds, foraging in the cool of the evening. Although protected by law, it is in grave danger of extinction due to illegal hunting and habitat loss.

Biodiversity challenge – O-o

Not enough ado about o-o

Double o
Distress call:
Harassed in Hawaii,
Cornered in Kauai.
Black rat invaders
With licence to kill;
Thirsty mosquitoes
Drinking their fill;
Unwelcome spectres,
Vectors of disease,
Disappearing trees,
Death by degrees.

Cover blown.
Status unknown.
This bird has flown.
Last spied alive
Late ’85.
O-o
Down to zero;
Missing,
Presumed dead.
Are you reading me?
Over.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014.