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.