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The Daily Toad: Proudly disseminating sensationalised rubbish since 1645. 27th April 2008.

Birds play down 'ungrateful' jibe
after poll reveals ambivalence
over 'glory of flight'

A nightingale singing

Flying 'not all it's cracked up to be' says Nightingale

A very cute kiwi

Flightless fraternity stoical about preening;
'Not a lot of point, really' says noted Hoofer

The world's avian community were yesterday attempting to head off a potential PR disaster as a recent poll suggested that 68% of birds admitted that the benefits of flight were: 'probably not worth all that preening'

Birds, long suspected to have gloried in the majestic gift of flight and soared on high in wheeling columns of air, were less excited over the gift than many people thought.

"Okay, so being able to chase aphids on the deck at 60 MPH may be pretty good fun," said Mr Gerald Swift of The Eaves, Sudbury, "but when you factor in all those hours and hours of montonous preening, it kind of takes the edge off it."

A disproportionately high flight/maintenance ratio has traditionally been the bane of owls, who require additional preening due to the increased workload of silent flight at night, but just recently other birds have started to make their voices heard in the controversial 'preening is a drag' issue.

"Few birds would deny that flight is a major evolutionary edge and much admired," said Mr Chaffinch yesterday, "but we're getting a bit browned off with the assumption that it's all a bed of roses. I think what this poll shows is that birds work very hard to enable them to drift with rising air currents and chasing the shouting winds along, and that everyone should just get off our backs with all that 'you're so damned lucky' bullshit."

The complaints find little sympathy with the flightless fraternity, who have been used to high levels of preening with no chance of flight at all.

"The Penguins need all that preening I guess", conceded Arnold Kiwi, a spokesman for New Zealand's flightless bird lobby, "but for the rest of us hoofers, we just shoulder the burden with stoicism. It's our lot, so we get on with it. If you ask me, the fliers don't know how lucky they are, but since Attenborough and those busybodies at the BBC showed an interest, it's all been me, me, me."

Other, non-avian fliers were similarly unimpressed. Alfred Batt of the Belfry, Little Snoring, pointed out that bats never complained about the continual ridicule his kind suffer from hanging upside down, and that birds whinging about preening was like a giraffe complaining about the rising costs of neck-ties.

Josh Hatchett, reporting for The Toad.

Also inside your Avian Toad:

Swan-Upping 'degrading', says Swan spokesperson

Celebrity Buzzard mobbed by crow fans

Emu considers solo career ten years after death of partner Rod Hull

Cuckoo cites 'severe abandonment' issues as excuse for egg trespass

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