Trish and I recently flew down to Texas to spend a bit of time with the family of one of our daughters in El Campo (southeast of Houston). They have a small farm there, and I had the opportunity to help with a few tasks. I did not grow up on a farm, and I have little farm experience, but I was recruited to help with moving a sun shelter (for pigs) from one field to another. I can honestly say this was the first time I have wallowed in pig mud. I now understand why pigs enjoy it.
While Trish and I were on a walk on the outskirts of El Campo, we saw an impressive bird for the first time, the Caracara.
Here's a bit of interesting background on the caracara. This bird is also known as the Mexican eagle, but it actually isn't an eagle at all, it is a relative of the falcons, and it likes eating roadkill more than hunting. The bird used to have the honor of being the national bird of Mexico. But it was downgraded not too long ago. Why? Because the Mexican state department took a closer look at the bird on the national seal and decided it was a golden eagle, not a caracara.
The bird on the national seal goes back to native Aztec legend. According to the legend, the sun god, named Huitzilopochtli, asked the people to find an eagle perching on a cactus and eating a snake, and that's the spot where they should build their new town. The town was called Tenochtitlan but later became known as Mexico City.
At some point, someone decided the bird was a caracara. The problem, though, is that the caracara wasn't common in that area, and it didn't look much like the bird on the seal. But the golden eagle is common there and does look like the bird on the seal!
Anyway, the caracara isn't my chosen Awesome Animal for this week (that's the Pillbug), but I thought I would share this tidbits.
Wallowing in mud - Trish Smith
Crested Caracara - Bay City Tribune
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