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  • by Jean-Francois Podevin

Rare Birds of North America: The Golden Gate Grebe

What does a "Suisun Bay" Grebe has to do to in order to get half the attention paid to all the loons, ducks, seagulls, and cormorants that feast on Tortilla chips and P.B&J sandwiches offered by tourists at the Golden Gate Bridge vista point? Well, it does the improbable! It does the impossible! It flies in the company of its mate straight from Martinez to San Francisco where the two of them will imitate in the most amazing feat of mimicry, nothing less than a scaled down version of one of man's greatest achievement, namely; "The Golden Gate Bridge". Now that the old Dreadnoughts of the U.S. Navy have been hauled away for their scrap metal, there is hardly a drunk sailor or a lost tourist in Martinez to count on for a handout. In this unfortunate environment that is the Suisun Bay, the Grebe is one of the last survivors of its meager animal kingdom. Thanks to the great chemical witch cauldron, courtesy of the nearby petroleum industry byproducts combined with the oxidation and broken bits from the bygone battle-wagons, the Grebes have undergone a transformation, a metamorphosis! As if by a magical curse the Grebes have developed an extraordinary gift for mimicry and showmanship and thus they have become the Peacocks of California. They fly daily to the foot of the bridge to do their Hollywood extravaganza, it is the latest attraction in California. Go to the Golden Gate , arrive before feeding time and witness the prodigy of Nature imitating one of man's greatest masterworks

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