ACCORDING to a friend of mine who works at the Interior Department, Secretary Cecil Andrus' recent decision to reintroduce an endangered species of falcon to the Washington area was just the first step in a massive new federal wildlife program. During the coming months, the department will attempt to establish in other parts of the country some of the truly unique birds that have thrived in Washington. Among the first to be moved are:
The MX HAWK (nunc ya seeit, nunc ya seeit non ): A particularly resilient strain of escalator hawk (genus vietnamus ), the MX has learned to avoid its predators by literally moving underground. First spotted in the Pentagon Metro station, the MX travels unseen atop high-speed subway cars. Popular myth holds that the only way to catch the MX is with salt.
The EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT SWIFT (coatus holderum, inglis basementus ). Although preferring to roose in damp, dark, subterranean nests on leased furniture, the young swift has been known to migrate to the sandy coastal regions of the Caribbean briefly in winter. While there it is easily spotted along the beach by its distinctive shiny black wingtips and dark vest plumage. The swift flies with its head down, its wings beating a rapid tattoo, as it carcles the great white heron with whom it shares a symbiotic relationship. A large heron may attract up to a dozen swifts and an occasional full-breasted female Huntenpeck dodo bird (lizray lizray, dormezvous ).
The PETROLEUM INDUSTRY BULL PARROT (solon, russellus longus ): Found perched among the white marble and walnut on the north side of Capitol Hill, this bird - a cross between the corn-caked orrin hatch and the prehistoric bob kerr - is closely related to the Standard Oil parakeet (Amaco amicus ) which roosts on the south side of the Hill. Reportedly able to mimic intelligent speech, the bull parrot can even be taught to simulate laughter or crying, as part of an intriguing nest-feathering ritual. Heavily hunted in the Northeast in recent years, the flock has demonstrated remarkable staying power.
The SUBURBAN MELLOW DOPER (potomacae, tub caliente ). Inhabiting the fringe of the metropolitan area, this duck usually can be spotted basking on hard surfaces near highly chlorinated water, into which it glides at the slightest intrusion. Its young are largely nocturnal, congregating around darkened shopping centers and surviving almost entirely on the dried leaves of a single plant and an occasional bag of chocolate chip cookies.
The GEORGETOWN REALTOR SNIPE (foyer, tres lavatorium ). A large-headed, high-soaring bird, the so-called routhless robin prefers a waterfront perch from which to dive for the slow-moving fish that run in this area each spring. Thought to have originated in Georgetown, this species has flourished in virtually every Washington neighborhood in recent years. Its complicated call, a soothing "lv rm, dn rm, ww-carp, CAC, CAC," is delivered to lull its prey, as the snipe swoops down, talons protracted, on its next meal.
The WHITE-RUMPED BUREAUCRAT GROUSE (papyrus vacillare ). Almost colorless, this prolific Middle Atlantic nitpicker is distinguished by a protuberant, blue-white underbelly and abundant wafer-thin tail plumage. A slow, ponderous climber in flight, its habits and habitat are similar to those of the carrions crow with which it often mixes and interbreeds where ranges overlap.
The VANQUISHED LEGISLATOR SWALLOW (lobbyus instantum ). Known chiefly for its unusual nesting habits, this bird perches first around Capitol Hill, often sitting motionless for long periods of time. Eventually driven out by leaner, more aggressive newcomers, the routed bird then roosts in spacious aeries high above K Street NW. Using a combination of tranquilizer darts and tiny blue knee tags, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has attempted repeatedly to establish this strain elsewhere. Released in Peoria, the place from which they were said to have originated, the swallows invariably returned to Washington.
A number of birds, of course, have already extended their range well beyond the Beltway. In fact the COY TEDDY, an unusually silent variety of trumpeter swan (silvered ear tufts, partially visible crown), has been spotted leaving Washington frequently in recent months and is now reportedly soaring in Iowa and New Hampshire.
On the other hand, some relatively new Pennsylvania Avenue species are in danger of disappearing from the scene entirely. Those plucky peanut-eating loons and southern turkeys that surprisingly nested across from Lafayette Park a few years ago, for example, have been laying plenty of eggs, but are not expected to survive another severe winter. CAPTION: Illustrations 1 through 8, no caption, By Ray Driver