Common name: State Worker

Scientific name: Bureaucratus minor

Courtesy Of Conrad Garcia

Identifying characteristics: The female of the species can be easily spotted by its impressive, brightly colored breast, and opulent accessorizing, often just visible beneath a loose-fitting feather. Oddly, its most common characteristic is an identifying badge. Perhaps to distinguish itself from similar species, the female’s feet have developed a most pronounced white leather covering, sometimes referred to as “Nikes,” which often contrast with its dark lower leg, marked during the colder months by fine fur. Though the female Bureaucratus is a born workhorse, she is often bullied into doing more than her share to sustain surrounding species, which is why her daytime lair may be camouflaged by piles of paper, carefully arranged to protect a snoozing Bureaucratus from clever predators.

Mating habits: Bureaucratus, while frequently spotted in Capitol Park on sunny afternoons, can be maddeningly elusive during the evening hours, except in the case of the nocturnal subset of the species, known as lovelornis. On spring evenings, lovelornis engages in mating rituals that consist almost entirely of drinking cosmopolitans in pairs while bitching about the office’s dominant Bureaucratus and the glaring flaws in potential mates. Lovelornis, while appearing to prefer her cat and her collection of scented candles, often competes for the attention of males by omitting high-pitched chatter punctuated by ear-splitting cries of laughter. The larger the flocks, the more deafening their cries. Once lovelornis has found a mate, however, she evolves into a committed parent, sometimes nurturing successive generations of Bureaucratus.

Migration patterns: Tending to hibernate collectively during the heat of the day, flocks emerge at sunset to follow well-worn flight paths through the hills outside of town. These paths, known locally as highways 80, 99 and 50, lead back to excessively decorated nests—by way of numerous stomping grounds, including Blockbuster Video, Target, and various fast food restaurants, which may explain the girth of the Bureaucratus.

Population: Contrary to popular opinion, Bureaucratus is not a shrinking population, but a hardy species forever enlarging its territory. Its occasional rarity comes from the fact that Bureaucratus hides in its nest on every holiday known to man—not that this researcher is bitter.

Sparechanger agrobummus