17 April 2009

crowns you never see

I'm sure we've all had our moments of looking at some old Audubon type depiction of a "crowned" species and wondering where on earth that ridiculously garish cranial addition came from. In light of this profound oddity, we bring you... roadkill.

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is one of my high school weekend hangouts. Yeah, I was that kid. Before I get to today's featured roadkill, I need to point out that Anahuac was severely impacted by Hurricane Ike. Here's a shot of what the visitor's center looks like - the building used to be a whole building, not 2/3 of a building... note the makeshift visitor's center to the left.

...hah, I also snuck a moth pic from the restrooms (that thankfully were not destroyed!) I'm not sure of its ID yet, but posting an unknown will motivate me to correct that asap ;-)

Summary for Anahuac NWR: Donate! Friends of Anahuac NWR is the support group for the refuge and they can use all of the help - volunteer or dollar wise - that they can get. Oh, and they're also on Facebook!

Now for the promised roadkill. Driving away from Anahuac, this Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) caught my eye.

I spared you the frontal shot of the bird (you're welcome), just wish I'd gotten the crown in focus, but you get the idea - EAKIs are lovely creatures. They have a very distinctly flycatchery pose and habitat preference, preferring open areas with a nicely visible perch to those pesky woodland lurkers. Anyway, not to play favorites, I just miss tuxedo-clad flycatchers. Abilene is full of Western Kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis), and Houston did have a few, but vertical tyrants (WEKI's scientific name amuses me) just don't replace the crisp Eastern...

Sadly, the critter's front side prevented me from being too tempted to bring the body back to TX A&M, but I wonder if salvaging parts should really be more at the top of my agenda than it currently is. Ah well, there will always be days without ice packs and coolers available, I just need to make those days fewer and farther between!

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