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Archive for the 'Birds' Category

Unfortunate Developments in my Life: #2 in a series

You know how horrible it feels when you defend someone time and time again, yet they ultimately let you down and make you look like a fool? Some may remember my impassioned defense of the humble pigeons who finally ended up in my feeder. I found their stupidity charming! I complimented their pretty pink feets! I stuck up for them to my neighbors, my boyfriend, and even my coworkers. Even when they blocked the feeder with their big fat bodies! And even when they pooped in it!

Well, no more, people. That was all before Unfortunate Development #2:

I am mad at the pigeons.

I know. I can’t believe it either. It all started when they took to using my feeder as their own personal boxing ring. The first pigeon fight was rather amusing, I’ll admit, but then they started getting violent — which wouldn’t be a huge deal except for this: They fight with great force. Far more force than any of the other birds could ever exert. And when Rob walked into the living room yesterday, he saw them nearly push the lid of the feeder wide open with their stupid, thrashing heads.

I can’t imagine what might have happened had he not been there to see it (and promptly put a brick on top of the lid). The finches and sparrows could totally fit through that hole. If one of them were to fly into the house, there would be, according to Rob, only one way to get him out. And it sure as hell wouldn’t involve gently grabbing the bird in my hand and releasing him from whence he came.

Yep. The only way a bird gets out of a house is DEAD. Either by tennis racket, frying pan, or (in this house) dog. Otherwise they don’t stop flying.

This, as you can understand, simply will not do. I bought that feeder to bring joy to all the dudes — not to compromise their tiny little lives!

So yes, I am mad at the pigeons. So mad, in fact, that we are considering blocking parts of the entrance so they can no longer fit inside. It’s a drastic measure, but at this point I think they deserve it. Goddamn you, pigeons!! I hope you’re not too stupid to realize that you brought this on yourselves!

Hopefully this is the end of my series, but unfortunate events tend to happen in threes. Maybe my ill-advised home fragrance purchase counts? Or my depressing inability to work Sephora into my schedule? Am I done with disappointments, life? At least for the time being? Yeah, I think I might be.

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Pigeons: Nothin’ gets by you guys!! (Give or take a few months.)

Well, it happened. I suppose it was inevitable. It took about a bajillion years, but finally, the pigeons have found my feeder. They have taken over the window and the driveway below. It seems that they rule with iron beaks.

I suppose it’s a bit telling that it took the pigeons months longer to find us than all the other birds. I hope they’ll forgive me for saying so, but pigeons? Really not that bright. I know! It’s a shocker! So resourceful, so jaunty, so … iridescent … ? But dumb as rocks.

Regardless, I really enjoy pigeons. In our feeder, their stupidity is extremely entertaining. The first day they found it, I watched, mesmerized, as two of them tried to negotiate the space. A smarter dude would’ve immediately realized that it just wasn’t going to work — but these guys wouldn’t give up. It was a mess of shuffling feathers, seed flying all over the place (and ultimately onto the ground, where, conveniently, their friends were hanging out. Those were the smart ones.). Finally, they both found a niche. They sat parallel to one another, all nice and cozy … one facing in, and one facing out. The one facing out had no access to the food. The one facing in seemed to have forgotten why he was there in the first place. No eating occurred, but they sure did look cozy.

I have many reasons for loving pigeons — not the least of which is their attractive pink feets. Their bobbing heads rank #2. I also really enjoy how I can encourage them to go for walks with me on the sidewalk. (Don’t believe me? Just follow one and shuffle quietly.) Unfortunately, I’m in the minority. The term “flying rat” depresses the hell out of me. What do I get from them that the rest of the world doesn’t?

On the other hand, I don’t like dogs. So I guess the rest of the world and I are even.

In closing, I leave you with this. If you can race them, you can love them. They’re athletes, god dammit!

And have you noticed their pretty pink feets?!?!?

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Do birds sweat? Oh, if only …

Yes, it is hot outside! With oppressive temperatures wreaking havoc on everything from the ability to breathe to the possibility of good hair, we all turn to that one burning question: Are the birds okay? More specifically, do they get hot? How do they cool off? Do I need to install a birdbath in my other living room window?

Fellow ornithophiles, worry no more. Through some extensive and highly scientific research, I have learned that while birds do not sweat, they have myriad other methods of beating the heat. (I have also learned that birds get boogers … but that’s a post for another time.)

I’m glad to hear that birds know how to cool off — and I’m glad to finally know why there was a finch standing in my feeder yesterday with his mouth hanging open like a retard. But one of their other practices disturbs me a little. From this informative website:

Bird’s legs are not covered with feathers and significant heat is lost through the legs and feet. Some species moisten and cool their legs by allowing liquid waste to run down them.

In other words:

Birds pee on themselves to keep cool.

Really, you guys? Come on! Are you peeing on yourselves while you hang out in my living room window, contaminating your own food supply (and my kick-ass feeder)? Are you peeing on yourselves when you sing in the trees — and when I’m walking right underneath you? Worst of all, are you peeing on yourselves when you sing on telephone poles — right above giant heaps of live wires? (I’m looking at you, Billiam!)

Fortunately, the website specifies that “some species” do this — so maybe my dudes don’t. I think I’ll operate under this assumption … until one of them gives me a good reason not to.

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Reston!

Over the past few weeks, I have been deeply concerned about the fate of poor Reston the Rooster, the beloved neighborhood mascot who disappeared from a Somerville yard on May 7. It’s a heartbreaking story. I can only imagine how horrible it must feel to have a rooster choose to live in your house and bring joy to your whole neighborhood, only to end up vanishing without a trace 7 years later. (I can also only imagine how it would feel if Reston showed up at my house, and I’ve gotta admit: I imagine it’d be hard to give him back.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and every scenario makes me sad:

Birdnapping: Well, obviously. This is sad because it may imply that a neighbor did not appreciate Reston and wanted him out of the picture — and into a pot pie. It also may imply that someone coveted Reston and stole him for his/her own enjoyment. That would be just plain mean. Get your own rooster!

Wanderlust: It makes me so sad to think that Reston simply didn’t like his home anymore and wandered off in search of greener pastures. (PSSST … hey, Reston! Try my house! Green is overrated.) I’d like to think that Reston understood how good he had it. That woman loved him so very much!

Animal shelter: There’s a theory that Reston was “rescued” on the street (also lends credence to the wanderlust scenario — double sad!) and brought to an animal shelter. Knowing what happens to unclaimed dogs and cats in an animal shelter, I shudder to think about what they’d do to Reston.

I’ve gotta stop reading the stories — it’s enough to make your heart break. He’d eat pine nuts right out of your hand! You could pet him and hold him like a dog! He was like a friend! Everyone misses him very, very much!

Oh, Reston. Please find your way back home!

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Bird update! (From my house!)

Thanks to my trusty reporter in the field, I’m here with up-to-the-minute updates on who’s chowing down in my living room.

So far we’ve seen:

  • Little brown hopping dudes (aka “sparrows”)
  • A little brown dude with a fine red head (a mystery!)
  • A mourning dove! (Large)

Still unaware of our fabulous bounty are my own personal bounty: the cardinals.  But take heart!  I believe it’s only a matter of time.

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BIRDS! (In my house!)

It’s a sad truth that I haven’t been excited enough about anything lately to actually fill this long-forgotten skeleton of a blog, but today it has happened.

The birds have found my house!

Have you ever spent $120 on a bird feeder and waited for weeks for the assholes to find it — all to no avail? You haven’t? Really?! Well, I’ll tell you: It is a horrible, helpless feeling. Rob installed the (deceptively cheap-looking) thing in the kitchen window a few weeks ago. It boasts a posh, welcoming entrance through the window that leads into a spacious foyer. And the foyer? It juts INTO MY HOUSE. So when the birds want to eat, they’re, like, in my house. And the best part? You can see them … but they totally can’t see you!

At first, I watched it obsessively. I even bought about 10 pounds of special Cardinal Blend to lure my favorite little dudes inside … and still, nothing. Just an ugly mess of pressboard and fake mirror that looked even more stupid from outside the house than it did from inside the kitchen — and even more so if you considered the little pile of bait-seed that I tossed onto the sill and down to the ground underneath. (I’m sure the squirrels enjoyed that immensely.)

Nothing but pain it brought me … until I began my ultra-scientific observation of the birds’ flight patterns.

Turns out the little fuckers fly right by the living room window on a regular basis. Sometimes they even park themselves on the (no doubt extremely safe) mess of wires about two feet away from it.

My findings:

Observation of flight patterns + relocation of feeder = BIRDS! (In my house!)

Yes, I got home from work today and found an unexpected guest gorging himself in my living room.

I could see him …

… but he couldn’t see me!

So fascinating was this turn of events that I found it difficult to focus on my traditional post-work viewing of Beverly Hills, 90210 — and that’s fucking fascinating!  A little seed, a little song, and then time to make room for the next guest.  Eventually I hope they’ll be comfortable enough to dine together, but for now they come solo.

Eventually, too, I’m sure I’ll get used to their behavior, at which point I’ll attempt to encourage new antics.  For example, it’d be funny to watch them eat polenta.  But for now, don’t expect me to socialize with you during daylight hours on Saturday.  ‘Cause I’ll be hanging out with the birds … IN MY MOTHERFUCKING HOUSE!

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