Wednesday, October 17, 2018


Remember when Charlie Chaplain and his friend were starving in a cabin, and the friend started to hallucinate that Charlie Chaplain was a chicken? That can happen when you're birding, too. You forget to pack a lunch, and all of a sudden that acorn woodpecker youre scoping starts to look like a delicious #1 special from Chicken Shack. You should resist the temptation, in that particular case, because acorn woodpeckers taste like shit, but some birds actually taste pretty good. In some cases, people will actually  go out of their way to eat them. That'll be the whole point of the expedition! It's not a style of birding I know much about, but I've dabbled enough to put together this handy guide for you. Bon apetit!  

Chicken - This is the best bird to eat, by a lot, and thousands of people agree with me. Chicken is one of those rare things, like The Beatles, Goodfellas, and California, that deserves its enormous popularity. But for a fat, flightless an ubiquitous bird, it's surprisingly hard to catch--not because chickens are so nimble, but because they're all either dead or inside some type of cage. There are about  19,000,000,000 chickens in the world, and almost every manmade structure you see has some chicken parts inside of it (think about that next time you're high on a plane!), but unless you want to pay money for it (which is cheating), good luck getting your hands on one. Go out into the woods and try to find a chicken right now. See? You didn't even try, because you know it's too hard.  Every chicken you see is "spoken for." There are free roosters on craigslist sometimes, but they aren't as good to eat.  

Turkey - Turkeys are a popular food source, too--Thomas alone consumes almost four tons of turkey per year--and they're similarly dumb and defenseless, for the most part, but there is a "wary and magnificant" variety of turkey--the "Wild Turkey"--that can be found out in the woods, with a little patience and know-how. (Google it.) As discussed in episode 4 of Dial B For Birder ("Stinson Beach"), Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the Wild Turkey the official bird of the United States, but got out-voted by the other, less goofy founding fathers. It's a good, thing too, because otherwise turkey would be "bad to eat," for patriotic reasons, like the bald eagle.  

California Quail - You could argue that the quail is bad to eat for patriotic reasons, if you're Californian, but I would counter-argue that the whole point of being a Californian is doing whatever you want, all the time. I've only eaten half a quail over the course of my entire life, but it was really good. My friend shot it with a bb gun and cooked it up for breakfast, and I still admire him for it.

Duck - If you ever become a golden gate park wook, this is going to be your main source of food. Just glue a rubber duck to your hat, submerge yourself in pond water from the hat down, creep up as close as you can, and GRAB EM BY THE LEGS!! Muscovey ducks are not as tasty, but you get more meat.



  1. Just want to take this moment to brag about the fact that I ate 50 chicken nuggets from Burger King in one sitting last week.
    You ever had an ostrich burger? I did, but have no memory of it.

    1. Gross, Thomas. If you're going to eat gross fast food chicken (which you shouldn't, because fast food is the devil) it should be from Wendy's or Popeye's.
      I had an ostrich burger once in Washington. It was similarly unmemorable. Also, in 7th grade I dangled a dead bird's head in my mouth for a Jackass-style video. It didn't touch anything, but technically it was in my mouth, and technically that counts as eating. Look it up!

    2. All fast food is gross and if you eat it more than once a month you are living a bad life.