The Watching of Wilson's Pharalope
Now here is a sweet little bird. Wilson's Pharalope - about 8 inches long and the funniest swimmer you ever did see. When they want to stir up some food from the marshy places they hang out in, they begin to swim around in dizzy little circles. It is like they are spinning tops just whizzing around on hidden underwater gyroscopes. Watching 20 or so of them doing this all at once is hysterical. They look like toy wind-up birds gone blissfully mad. They are the bird world's whirling dervishes.
Then they stop, eat for a while and decide to swim a bit further down the pond -- which they do by doing something like a bow, something like a stretch of the neck back and forth to propel them forward, stretching their shoulders back and forth as they do. They become little mechanical birds bobbing their heads, like the rolling wooden duck we used to pull around on a string when we were toddlers.
I love how charmingly foolish they seem. I love that they make me laugh and giggle with joy. Seeing them spin and spin immediately gets me chortling and grinning. I wonder if they watch me, saying "Look what we can make the silly one without feathers do!" And with a sly wink across the pond to eachother they spin..and spin...and spin...