Quick- what’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about South Africa? If you thought of lions, elephants, carjackings, or weird street food, I have no time for you. You’ve clearly not given the pulchritudinous hadeda ibis its due.
Yes, yes, I know some other stupid birds hog the limelight. For reasons beyond comprehension, the blue crane is officially South Africa’s national bird. Have you seen one of these suckers in real life though? They have the personality of a turnip. The southern ground hornbill seems to get a lot of attention, even though their necks are adorned with inflamed testicles.
No, forget THOSE guys. The glorious hadeda should be the star attraction here.
You’ll never forget the first time you see a hadeda’s angelic form descending from the heavens. You’ll be in awe of its embodiment of grace in all its various forms.
And you’ll crap your pants the first time you hear one of these buggers yell at you.
Some birds chirp. Some warble. Others call or sing. The hadeda defies our mortal comprehension of what a bird should sound like. Imagine, if you will, 278 pigs being murdered simultaneously by the sheer auditory pandemonium of an entire grade 7 band class trying out their instruments on the first day whilst being chased by countless angry racoons. That’s what a hadeda sounds like.
It’s mesmerizing. And terrifying if you don’t know it’s coming.
Beyond its ethereal voice, the hadeda is blessed with a streamlined body, one that should inspire sculptors worldwide to create massive statues in its honour.
I’ve never managed to get a great picture of one (mainly because I’m always deeply entranced by their utter magnificence), but their wings have an iridescent blurply-green (that’s a colour, right) tinge to them.
At this point, you’re probably wondering, “Can the hadeda possibly get any sexier?” No. The answer is an emphatic no.
Unless, of course, you take into account that these resplendent beings happily gobble up garden nightmares like the dastardly mole cricket. If you need any more proof that God is real and loves us, you need to look no further than the heroic hadeda.
Except at 5am, at which point these cursed rats with wings can get stuffed.
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