Their scientific name is Shuttlecock erectus. These rare birdies make their annual migration to Miami Beach every winter to escape the cold. They are natives of the remote Badminton Islands in Northern Quebec. They leave their northern homes two months before most other aviary species to take advantage of early bird specials and Miami nesting rates that often go for a song.
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“The birdies first landed here nine years ago when I started my company’s annual badminton tournament,” said Fred Warbler, who made a fortune in his panty hose business and is an avid ‘bird” watcher.. “There was a whole flock of them and they’ve come back at tourney time ever since. Let me tell you, them suckers are big and when they circle overhead and relieve themselves, they can really cause a mess.”

“Would you believe, three years ago they completely buried our top doubles team in bird poop?” Warbler lamented.

He said, “Even somebody blind as a bat can shoot one down. They are also easy to hunt because of the noise they make. Coming from the Badminton Islands they tend to make a real racket. Another problem is that their rubbery tips make breeding difficult.” Around here, we refer to them as ‘condoms with feathers.’

Attempts to place the birdies on the Federal Endangered Species list have been hindered by bureaucratic red tape, but Fred Warbler and his colleagues persist in their effort.. “It gets frustrating at times,” he admits, “but we keep on trying.”

So far, we have managed to get the birdies’ droppings protected. It is against the law to scoop them up.

They are classified by the government as “an endangered feces.”


This article appeared in Cahoots Quarterly, Spring Edition, 2008, “The official Newspaper of… Hollywood Beach and Beyond.”

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