Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bird Strikes Chez Moi

Here's the result of a few collisions between mourning doves and the patio door in the last few hours. You're looking at the white hazy areas in the foreground, which is imprinted on the outside of the glass. Oddly, when a bird sees another smack into the glass, bounce off and go away rubbing his head, he doesn't avoid the same glass. There seems to be a "this can't happen to ME" feeling about it all. And a few minutes later another bird flies directly into the glass door, forgetting you can't fly right through the house -- when the front door's open you can see through to the street -- and bounces off grumbling, dang, this air's HARD!

The good part is that they do go on with their lives, and in all these years I've seen only one casualty from a collision, an unlucky sparrow which hit headon. When a really big bird, such as a redtail hawk, swooping down in winter terrorizing the birds at the feeder, plans on zooming right through the living room to the street, as if it were flying through trees, the impact is huge. More than once I thought we had heard a sonic boom, shook the whole side of the house, then I've seen a hawk fly sheepishly away, dang, did it again..

The stuff on the glass, which reflects light like a prism, is the dust off the bird's feathers, and you can see the outline of the faces and the outstretched wings and tail. There's bit of fluid from the eye, too if the bird's really unlucky and gets the avian version of a shiner.That's how I know what birds did the marks, since these are the shapes for mourning doves.

So here's your nature walk for the day, not too tiring, for the armchair birder. Or twitcher, they call them in England, which cracks me up.


Minimiss said...

Now that's a really good excuse not to clean the windows and ranch sliders. Imagine the headache the birds must have.

Anonymous said...

We have a similar problem here in Calgary - Canada Geese landing on hi-rise balconies, flapping and honking madly. I learned the hard way not to take a broom to try to "shoo" it away. Even worse, a great horned owl hoo-hoo-ing from a neighbouring balcony railing. Stupid here, stood outside hoo-ing back, until said large beastie took flight - directly towards me. I say watch your birds from the comfort and safety of your armchair. - Jean in Cowtown