What’s in Mike’s freezer?

February 26, 2016

What’s that in Mike’s freezer? Let’s take it out and have a look.

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Onto the table out in the garden …

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Unwrap another layer …

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Hang on! That looks like … It can’t be, can it?

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It is! It’s a buzzard!

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A buzzard with extremely serious claws!

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And a serious beak as well!

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Further bulletins down the line, when I get a chance to play with it properly.

(Title stolen shamelessly from John Hutchinson’s blog.)

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16 Responses to “What’s in Mike’s freezer?”

  1. protohedgehog Says:

    Commenting purely for the fact that this is a hilarious juxtaposition to your other blogging activities recently.

  2. fionajt Says:

    It’s all very well having a buzzard in the freezer, but I’m struggling to find space for food.
    (Fiona Taylor – Mike’s wife)

  3. Andrew Says:

    Looks an awful lot like a hawk to me…

  4. Mike Taylor Says:

    Interesting! Let’s see what Darren thinks …


  5. I look forward to seeing what you do with this, Mike.
    Bone-wise, I have 1 1/2 shoulders of lamb (radius/ulna, humerus, scapula, 7+ associated halved vertebrae (from atlas caudally) and various ribs and sternal elements) in process of step-wise clean-up

  6. Mike Taylor Says:

    That sounds suspiciously like the makings of a stew.

  7. Mike Taylor Says:

    With typical grace and magnanimity, Darren writes:

    Ha ha. Dude: a buzzard is a hawk, same thing. Whatever, that’s a Buteo buteo: Common buzzard.

  8. William Miller Says:

    I believe buzzard/hawk is a British/American thing.

    In the US, ‘buzzard’ is a very colloquial term for vulture. (Wikipedia claims Turkey Vulture specifically, but I think most people who would use the term don’t distinguish between Turkey and Black Vultures.)

  9. Mike Taylor Says:

    As usual, American and UK colloquial names for wildlife are crazily incompatible. I guess most of this started when British immigrants to North America saw native wildlife, thought “Hey, that looks kind of like a {buzzard|beech|whatever}”, and the names stuck.


  10. Of course, American vultures aren’t particularly *vultures* either, though everyone accepts that as their official designation.

    Fun stuff, Mike! I have to pass up road-killed birds of prey – the law frowns mightily on collecting most kinds of birds here in the US, even pre-deceased ones. I do have a chipmunk, a toad, a beaver, and the head of an armadillo in various stages of preparation at the moment.

  11. Mike Taylor Says:

    So the law in the USA lets you collect mammals but not birds? What flagrant and inexplicable phylogenetic discrimination.


  12. Blame the Audubon Society, I guess. Also, migration – migratory birds fall under Federal law (plus some international treaties), while non-migratory, non-endangered wildlife is managed at the state level, and most states’ position is “If it ain’t deer we don’t care”. (You have to read that in a very specific American accent for the rhyme to come through).

    I could get away with collecting crows or doves, which are non-migratory, but not hawks, waterfowl, songbirds, etc – unless I got a Federal salvage permit, which would require both that the specimen be deposited in a proper museum and a more compelling scientific reason than “bones are cool”.

  13. N Says:

    Actually, blame the feather trade in the 1800s-1900s, rather than Audubon. If consumer demand had not been so rampant for feathers, the National Audubon Society would not have had to been created to step up and save birds from mass slaughtering.

    While it makes it difficult for the backyard anatomist and naturally curious to study naturally occurring carcasses, it at least ensures substantive penalties to protect LIVING wild native birds.

  14. Mike Taylor Says:

    So is the idea not actually to prevent harvesting natural kills, but to make sure you can’t kill your own birds and pass them off as found-dead?


  15. Mike – That is my understanding. The purpose of the law is to reduce the burden of proof on law enforcement in actual poaching cases. Similarly, here in my state, where we have many threatened and endangered freshwater mussel species, it is illegal to pick up mussel shells from the shoreline.

    N – I have no beef with the Audubon Society’s efforts, or the federal migratory bird laws. I would point out, however, that similarly destructive trade in the skins of mammals and reptiles has received much less attention, corrective efforts have come much later, and even now take the the form of resource management rather than a total ban. Those taxa have less effective lobbyists.

    It would be nice if permits were available to responsible amateurs such as myself, but oh well. I understand the agencies have enough on their plates and would rather not deal with such things.

  16. Amanda Says:

    Kurt (my husband) just showed me your blog. It is really cool! If you ever have any bones you don’t want any longer, feel free to pack them in your luggage when you go to the next IndexData meeting and I will be very glad to take them off your hands. Just give them to Kurt. :-D


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