OP – The Blog

November 24th, 2011

A Thanksgiving Contest…

Posted By Kevin Schafer

Hint...it's not a Turkey

It’s time for a Thanksgiving contest…  Observant readers will notice that despite a superficial resemblance, these two birds are NOT turkeys, and are altogether likely to survive the day without ending up surrounded by cranberry relish. At least I hope so. However, they were the closest thing to a turkey that I could find in my collection.

So, here’s the deal. The first person that can comment here with the correct common and Latin name for this bird species will receive a free, signed copy of my book, Living Light.

Hints –

1. this bird does not live in the US

2. It lives on a really weird  island

3. It is critically endangered

Happy Thanksgiving everyone….!

POSTSCRIPT : We have a winner!  Paul correctly identified these birds as Maleos (Macrocephalon maleo), endemic to the island of Sulawesi (a REALLY weird island – look at your atlas). Maleos are megapodes, which means “big feet” which they use for digging in the sand. What makes them unique is that rather than building a nest, they bury their eggs and let the heat of the tropical sand and sun do the incubating (in some cases they use geothermal heat). When the chicks hatch, they climb out of the sand (!) and immediately fly off, their wings fully formed – never even seeing, or being fed by, their parents. An amazing story.


Please leave a comment

  1. Paul Says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I’m going to say it’s the Maleo Senkawor (Macrocephalon Maleo), found on Sulawesi island.

    *crosses fingers*

    Thanks for this contest, and for sharing your photos and insights with all of us. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Kevin Schafer Says:

    Right you are, Paul! I just got home from Sulawesi yesterday, where I spent a week photographing maleos on their breeding ground. These guys seemed appropriate for Thanksgiving… To receive your book, send me an email via my website http://www.kevinschafer.com with your name and mailing address. Until then, don’t eat too much!

  3. Paul Says:

    Thanks so much Kevin! I shall do my best to not overindulge… but I’ll wear loose pants, just in case. :)

Leave a Comment

We welcome constructive comments and discussion. To keep the conversation polite, we will remove comments that we feel are disruptive, including abusive language and personal attacks against a contributor or another commenter. Repeated offenses may result in a permanent restriction from commenting.