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  • by Jean-Francois Podevin

Rare Birds of North America: The Manitoba Precaris

On a June day, if the temperature has been a constant for three consecutive days immediately following the solstice , when the wind factor is a perfect zero, and not even a mosquito upsets the stillness of the air, perched on the branch of an Aspen by the shores of Lake Winnipeg, the Manitoba Precaris lays three eggs with the tediousness of a python eating an ostrich egg.

When her first hatchling's baby claws have got a firm grip on the branch below , the mother will carefully take flight. The newborn to be, keeps his "Karamazov" siblings in balance, until they hatch one after the other.

This blindfolding act will account for an occasional fall, and, subsequently, an eventual egg loss.

Cursed be the unfortunate hiker whose head is in the way of a falling Precaris' egg. The Precaris is said to live for thirty three years, this longevity increases the odds for the Precaris to find the perfect conditions needed for gestation. Needless to say that the chances for a bird watcher to see a Precaris sitting on eggs is one in a blue moon, which on a geological time scale happens more often than not at Lake Winnipeg.

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