Save the Poor Bustard!
The superb double entendre of 70’s conservation poster slogan ‘Save the Poor Bustard’ gave my childish mind what I can now identify as a salacious thrill. It could actually be repeated without the speaker being accused of swearing!!
All the same, it shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise when, after testing the slogan out once or twice, I was strongly ‘discouraged’ from saying it again …
Perhaps that’s why Google insists that ‘bustard’ is a misspelling – which may or may not say something about the linguistic abilities of those who google ‘bastard’. Whatever. But whether the reason I couldn’t find the poster is because a) Google is too puritanical or b) it just doesn’t exist in cyberspace or c) I just imagined the whole thing is academic because the result is the same!
The stately and measured pace of bizarre Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis) as it moves across the grassy plains that its preferred habitat is deceptively slow!
And such a large bird with its oddly proportioned shape and clearly defined colour blocks, like an inept child’s drawing of an emu crossed with an alien should be easy to spot, right?
But despite it’s 1.2 metre height, and the open plains on which it travels, when threatened the bustard freezes into a cryptic posture pose or simply continues its slow and deliberate pace and disappears into the landscape.
As this Australian Bustard, spotted near Western Australia’s Quobba Blowholes did, leaving an unexpectedly almost-too-small photographic window for this amateur photographer!
Maybe there’s something to the alien connection after all …