Saturday, March 31, 2007

bird brained

(I actually sat down twice this week and started to blog about serious matters, like the nature of truth and the politics of change. But, then this bird started throwing itself against the window and I lost my train of thought . . .)

I really thought Danielle was exaggerating just a tad when she told me about the robin's strange behaviour.
"It's creepy, Mom," she told me, wrapped in an afgan with a steaming cup of coffee in her hand. "I was sitting here, reading my Bible, when I heard this weird thumping against the window. I opened the blinds and watched for a while--and then I saw this robin sitting on the porch rail. After a few minutes, he started throwing himself at the window."

"That is weird," I agreed. "Only a really stupid bird would try to get into a house with two cats and a crazy dog."

A quick peek at the porch showed the disgusting evidence of the bird's vigil. And the outside of the window was covered with bird spit and grime from it's nasty little feet. The bird itself was nowhere to be seen, so I left for work, wondering what would cause such strange behavior.

Later that day, I googled "bird throwing itself against a window" and learned that this behavior is actually quite common. Cardinals and robins, during the spring, often mistake their reflection in a window for a rival. They will attack the offending creature for hours at a time, defending their territory and knocking the stuffings out of their little bird brains.
One article I read stated, "While the commotion can be annoying to humans, this behavior is rarely fatal for the birds."

At first, this information brought me relief, but after five days of continual thunking, I began to plot the bird's demise.

Clifford, our 20 pound oaf of a cat, would spend hours sitting in a chair next to the window, drooling as the robin smashed into the glass. One afternoon, I coaxed Cliffie on the the porch, shut the door and left him to do his kitty thing. Five minutes later, Cliffie was scratching at the back door to get in. He then rushed back to his perch and resumed his drool-fest.

Scout, of course, barked and ran in circles whenever the bird started up another round. The barking managed to drive all humans from the room, but never fazed the determined bird. He'd puff up his little red breast, cock his little head and with a terrible gleam in his little black eyes, he'd wreak vengeance upon his enemy.
After a week of the robin's antics, we've all grown accustomed to the thunking noise, which sounds something akin to a drunken game of ping-pong.

I'm growing tired, however, of cleaning up after our plucky little friend. And today I think I came up with a solution.

I taped up Sponge Bob napkins, with his pasty yellow face and leering eyes, to all four living room windows. If that doesn't send this red robin a bob-bob-bobbin' to the next county, I'm throwing in the towel.
And will go back to writing about less flighty things . . .


two bird lindsay said...

for some reason, the image of spong bob napkins all over our living room windows is REALLY funny to me.

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