A good naturalist friend of mine showed me a phone text message recently sent from his grand-daughter. She was excited about seeing an “egul” and wondered if that type of thing was common. Given the fact that the rest of her message exhibited proper spelling, we wondered if her “egul” was equivalent to such texting short hand such as “lol” or “luv u” etc. If it was, then it only saved one letter, but it elicited a shared chuckle. There is no denying what she meant. It did get me re-thinking about something, however.
The normal response to an eagle – captive, wild, photographic – is almost always something like “ooh” or “wow”. Often an eagle sighting causes reactions of utter wonderment. Folks don’t laugh at eagles. Now, take squirrels. Their very name creates a smile. In fact it is hard to be serious about squirrels. I could tell a joke like “Why did the squirrel cross the road?” and answer that it was because “it was the chicken’s day off” and you have a joke with layers of humor – especially given the fact that squirrels really can’t cross the road. “Why did the eagle cross the road?” simply wouldn’t work. Eagles don’t cross roads (although perhaps eguls do).
The last time I saw a funny eagle was in the character of “Sam the Eagle” on the old Muppet show. This dower bird was so humorless and serious about everything that he was funny. He was shocked, and embarrassed, to find out that beneath our clothes we were all naked. Life was “unsafe” for him.
Frankly, I thought about Sam when I spotted a baldie fishing on the River Raisin last weekend. The bird flew right in front of me as I crossed a bridge spanning the river. It had the decency to land on a Cottonwood limb close to the railing, and I risked my life and limb by stopping in the middle of the road and firing off a few photos as the bird picked apart its prey. I should also mention that it was in the middle of a snowstorm and that my behavior was “unsafe” (I also was naked under my clothes at the time). My pictures came out o.k., but not great. Rather than write a piece about how eagles fish, or how they eat their prey, or how they are able to scavenge human remains after an auto accident on a bridge I thought a brief section on eagle humor would be a good excuse to post these sub-quality photos.
The “egul” incident followed this event and I was quickly convinced that it was high time to let loose with a few bald eagle jokes and see how they fly.
“How do you identify a bald eagle?” asked one novice birder. “They are the ones with their feathers combed to one side” answered the wise old birder.
What do you get when you cross a bald eagle with a skunk? Well, you either get a bird that smells to high heaven or a fowl smell.
What do you get when you cross a bald eagle with a fish? A slightly fatter eagle.
How about if you cross a bald eagle with a cow? Roost beef.
What do you call it when a sick eagle throws up? An illegal act!
The definition of an eaglemaniac is a bird of prey that thinks very highly of itself.
The definition of a beagle is an eagle that barks like a dog.
Why do eagles lay eggs? If they dropped them, silly, they would break!
What did the eagle say after she laid a square egg? Ouch!
What do you call lice on a bald eagle’s head? Homeless.
What do you call a line of bald eagles backing up? A receding hair line.
O.K., I apologize for that last one (and the one before that). You see, everyone knows that bald eagles aren’t really bald at all so the bald jokes don’t go very far if you really think about them. You see, that’s the problem. Eagles make you think while squirrels do not.
I would say that I have a million more, but I don’t. Believe me I’ve scanned the internet, along with my shallow reserve of self-taught jokes, and there aren’t many eagle jokes out there. In fact, most of these aren’t all that funny either. My wife, after being bombarded with a whole bunch of eagle one liners stated bluntly that “they are funny” but quickly added “only once.”
I’ll leave you with one more as you re-examine my serious shots of the bald eagle feasting on River Raisin sushi. It appears that two eagles were looking at a passing jet. “Look at that speed” said one with great envy. “Sure!” snorted the other bird, “you’d fly that fast too if your tail was on fire.”
By the way, do you know where a bald eagle goes after it loses its tail? Why, the retail store, of course.