Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Swamp Auger: Troublesome Boat Sinkers

Related to the puffin, the Swamp Auger is a small puffin-like bird with a long, corkscrew-like beak that live in freshwater lakes and swamps that are mainly used by fishermen of the United States. In appearance, the Swamp Auger are larger than any known species of puffins (17 inches tall) with a light coloration except for a black feathered head. The Swamp Auger does have the ability to fly but, only for short distances. They use their corkscrew-like beaks to drill three inch holes into the side of a larger animal (usually large bass or fish) to gets chucks of meat from the fish's body. The Swamp Auger only eats fish (main food source are minnows and small fish) and are harmless toward humans whom swim in the waters amongst them. Though they can become an annoyance by fishermen as they believe that their boat is a large fish at the surface, they can be shooed away by tickling their beaks or by sprinkling cayenne pepper on the nose. Though most of the times the Swamp Auger will instinctual drill deeper into the bottom of the boat (thinking it as food), only rarely to realize it isn't a fish at the surface and would swim away. If one does get stuck, either it would stay there long enough for somebody to reach shore, sprinkle pepper on its nose which would cause it to exhale (making it remain stuck in the bottom of the boat), or you have to hold onto the beak long enough until you reach shore. Though many believe they're pests that must be shot on sight; they're good for the environment, and can actually be trained by humans and other races for their usefulness.   
Swamp Augers (illustrated above) are only found from the Great Lakes to the Flordia Everglades. They do migrate South if the temperature begins to decrease for warmer waters by swimming down/up rivers (rarely flying).  

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