I'm going to try something for the first time ever, and write some satire. Keep in mind that this is all just a JOKE based on my funny experiences with intelligent but sometimes goofy animals. So here are my:
TOP 10 WORST ANIMALS IN SOUTHEAST ALASKA
Also, all photos were taken by me, as usual!
10) Spruce Grouse
Many people love these birds, as their colorful plumage change marks the changing from summer to winter and then back again. Their superior camouflage techniques make them almost impervious to attack from predators, which is good...because they have absolutely no defensive traits at all. When approached, these suuuuper scary birds simply stand still, convinced you can't see them. Even at three feet, they'll simply stand there, as if asking their neighbors, "You think they can see us?!". They're also extremely delicious birds, but I learned quickly I had to bring a slingshot. You can walk right up to them, so close that it's inadvisable to shoot, and honestly easier to just wail a rock at. Geniuses. Absolute geniuses.
9) Dall's Porpoise
So, they're pretty smart animals. They are relatives of dolphins after all. But evolution was not kind to these guys when it comes to looks. I mean, they never leave the water, and when they're swimming they're majestic and beautiful. So who am I to judge? But seriously, if you ever want a laugh, first watch a video of them in water, then look up a picture of one outside of the water. I guarantee a chuckle. They also will bow ride your boat, just for fun, and if you slow down they'll get bored and just peel off. Which begs the question, if they're so active, why the heck do they look like they've been chugging Natural Light on their porch for 30 years?
8) Bald Eagles
Don't get mad, just let me explain! Bald eagles are amazing birds and as important to the culture of Southeast Alaska as they are to the environment of the area. They are amazing birds, great hunters, and beautiful to look at. But with all their prowess, they choose to sit by the dumps of Alaska, in droves, and muddy their heads in our trash, becoming almost indistinguishable to their brethren. If anyone ever really wants to see eagles and for god-knows what reason has somehow missed them in their travels so far, we literally just tell them to go to the dump and be amazed at their abundance.
And then there's the insurance claims which they cause every year. It's almost like a ridiculous Statefarm commercial scenario. Some of Juneau's population (myself included) live on an island adjacent to town with a connecting bridge and a plentiful wetlands separating the two. Tons of eagles and other fowl hunt in these wetlands, but eagles particularly love to hunt, grab fish, and fly to their nearby nests, by the godforsaken dump right across the road.
Well, the eagles will grab a fish and fly over, but have no way to release their talons. So, as they fly, occasionally a fish which is too large for said bird will fall and smack against the road, or someones windshield. Now, if you're going to submit an insurance claim that states your windshield and hood were broken by a fish falling from the sky, you better have an Alaskan agent, because nobody else in their right mind is going to believe you. But it happens every, freaking, year. An eagle two summers ago managed to knock the power grid clean offline for a day or two from dropping a fish on the biggest transformer. Its just...come on guys, I know this is Alaska and the rest of the country thinks we live in an uncharted wilderness, but can't we all just get along?!
7) Pelagic Cormorant
Most people hate these birds because they've become pervasive and are not native to their area. But that is far from why they're making this list. They're both native and important to southeast Alaska, but a recently recorded incident makes them one of the stupidest animals I've ever heard of.
Pelagic cormorant nearly always nest in cracks of rocks which in Southeast usually means cliffs ascending from shorelines. These shorelines and intertidal areas see all the normal life; sea stars, anemone, urchins, sculpin, the list goes on and on. Well there is a documented case of a chick pelagic cormorant falling off one of these ledges and landing...head first...in an anemone. And I mean directly inside its mouth. Nobody knows what happened to this anemone after its' great meal, I like to think it became king of the anemone and rules the archipelago.
The cormorant probably died of suffocation and drowning quickly, but that has to be the dumbest predator/prey(?) interaction I've ever heard of. I just like to imagine the awkward falling through the air and then the anemone's surprised look when his meal appeared out of thin air.
6) Surf Scoter
Ever wondered what a black duck would look like with a clown mask on? Well then this is the bird for you! These noisy packs roam the waters in typical linear fowl fashion, commonly failing to notice 100+ ton boats charging right at them. Don't mind the beautiful puffins and oystercatchers, goldeneye, and harlequin around, we all definitely wanted to see thousands of clown-faced black ducks. Next.