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Glorious bustard
December 1, 2012 3:56 PM   Subscribe

The houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata) is a turkey-like bird found in sandy and stony desert-like regions. The bustard is a favored prey of the falcon, though it has a strong defense against its predator: the forceful excretion of a dark green anal slime. The bustard's meat is prized as an aphrodisiac (or possibly a diuretic) by falconers, and its mating display is flamboyant, though slightly disorienting.

Enthusiastic falconers from the United Arab Emirates have been flocking to the western Pakistani state of Balochistan to hunt the bustard in its natural habitat, though the region's security has become increasingly compromised. Still, the Emirates and Saudi Arabia recently provided the Pakistani government with $222 million to maintain and reserve the land, where wildly extravagant falconing parties are held.

Efforts are underway by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to introduce and repopulate the birds in the UAE (a sandy and desert-like region) though trips to Balochistan are still made, and Emiratis are welcome in the region.

Friendly relations between the Emirates and the United States have provided the US Military, Special Forces and CIA with a staging ground against the ongoing War on Terror in the region.
posted by obscurator (16 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

The houbara can also eject a dark green anal slime with considerable force. This sometimes clogs the falcon’s feathers so that it becomes virtually incapacitated.

Please tell me some hunters have been hit.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:02 PM on December 1, 2012

Those bustards!
posted by capricorn at 4:15 PM on December 1, 2012

I'm sorry, it appears you would like me to click on a link that says "dark green anal slime". I'm afraid that won't be possible.
posted by elizardbits at 4:34 PM on December 1, 2012 [8 favorites]

I've been falconing quite a few times in the UAE and Oman with my Emirati friends and many of the older men spoke wistfully of hunting Houbara in their youth. I did go on a hunting trip to Balochistan once and we got some Houbara there, I must say I didn't notice anything special about the flavour or any aphrodisiac affects.
posted by atrazine at 4:36 PM on December 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Elizardbits: I did it for you. It's an article.
posted by michellenoel at 4:37 PM on December 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry, it appears you would like me to click on a link that says "dark green anal slime". I'm afraid that won't be possible.

Two Houbaras, one cup.
posted by atrazine at 4:37 PM on December 1, 2012

I am now somewhat disappointed that the analslime tag did not go to any other posts, and I feel strongly that someone should amend their Santorum FPPs to right this wrong.
posted by elizardbits at 4:39 PM on December 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Cool, a bird that has most of the letters of chlamydia in its name and shoots a dark green anal slime like a super soaker as a defense. What could go wrong with this?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 4:41 PM on December 1, 2012

I'm pretty sure you made all of this up, but I still favorited it.
posted by msalt at 5:20 PM on December 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

The bustard's an exquisite fowl
With minimal reason to growl
He escapes what would be
By the grace of a fortunate vowel.
posted by Wet Spot at 5:45 PM on December 1, 2012 [12 favorites]

The bustard has amazing skill:
When a falcon swoops to kill
The bustard lifts his green-stained rear
And makes his anal slime appear.

The falcon swoops off, horrified
And so the bustard's shot goes wide
Far below we hear a splat
And see a falconer's new green hat.

The moral here, if one you seek,
Is now impressed upon the sheikh:
Next time he'll choose a different species
And hope his hunt won't end in feces.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:58 PM on December 1, 2012 [7 favorites]

The current conservation status of the houbara bustard
posted by cromagnon at 7:51 PM on December 1, 2012

The mating display of Turkeys ae even more disorienting. Wild turkeys are big, scrawny birds, running through the snow of late winter/early spring like little herds of fast-moving dinosaurs. We had a flock with two males appear in our yard one Easter morning. The toms go from something that looks like this to something that looks like this, almost instantly. They actually and unmistakably strutted, while the hens went berserk. They were beating each other up over these two toms, chasing and brutalizing each other, while the two guys were oh yeah, were so sexy, can't choose just one, can you ladies?
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:52 PM on December 1, 2012 [9 favorites]

You tend to see those four words on lists of "worst possible superpowers".
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:23 PM on December 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

They look like they should have been on the Muppet Show.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:31 AM on December 2, 2012

Ask Metafilter: a dark green anal slime
posted by slogger at 5:25 AM on December 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

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