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COURSEY: Too much of a good thing

The thought hit me right about the time I figured out why the guy in the minivan had just cut across two lanes of traffic, jumped the curb and let out his passenger, who had been hanging out the window pointing his cellphone camera down Sonoma Avenue.

Yes, there can be too much of a good thing.

The object of the shutterbug's attention, and the cause of a near-pileup Monday afternoon at the downtown intersection of Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues, was a large "wild" turkey. Now I know the answer to the question: Why did the minivan cross the road?

Brown Pelicans At Bodega Bay

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Several pedestrians and a guy on a bicycle stopped also, whipping out their phones to record this wondrous event. A turkey! In the middle of the street! In downtown Santa Rosa!

Well, get used to it, folks. If you like turkeys, or geese, or pelicans, or deer, I have bad news. We've got too much of a good thing.

The evidence is all around us. And I'm not just talking turkey.

In last Sunday's paper, Kent Porter's amazing photographs and Bob Norberg's disturbing story informed us of a plentitude of brown pelicans at Bodega Bay, where hordes of starving, aggressive birds are fighting over scraps of fish left on the ground or in dumpsters by fishermen. This is not a good thing; many of the birds are dying as large fish scraps lodge in their throats.

"There are an unusual number," said longtime charter boat captain Rick Powers. "We are seeing stuff we have not seen in years past. They seem aggressive and they are almost starving."

One photograph showed a fisherman cleaning his fish on an outdoor counter, standing on one leg while kicking away scavenging pelicans with the other.

These are birds that once were on the endangered species list.


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