Thursday, October 4, 2007

Birds -- Not Just Nuts in Spring

Dozens of robins descended on the 0.2 acre homestead this morning, joining the chickadees, which have been here en masse for a few days now.

The chickadees, left on their own, are loud chirpers and chaotic flappers; I'd say their flight pattern from fence to feeder resembles an EKG. They're awfully territorial about the feeder, and loud about it, warning off other incoming chickadees who divert elsewhere in mid flight.

But then the robins came (no pics cuz you know what they are), the brut bullies of the backyard, one with a fairly red breast (too fast to get a pic). Not only did they reign supreme in the sky, trees, and ground--tossing wood chips and grass high into the air--but a few surprised me and took over the bird feeder. They chased the chickadees off. They also chased each other, perhaps 6 pairs or more at one time, darting like drunks high and low through trees as if there were no trees.

Then the downy woodpeckers came, one pair at the feeder. They made a better show of it, but the robins won out chasing them through the trees and out back to the neighbor's acreage. Finally, briefly, in the line of small cedars along the back fence a blue jay made a finite appearance, but moved on, sensibly so.

And last but not least, sparrows hit the ground. The robins chased them off, too, running nimbly, pooping along the way (no pic of that, but it was FASCINATING).

It gives me pleasure to see the wildlife--if such common birds can be considered wild in our post nature age--perching on trees I planted, hiding behind the miscanthus, et cetera. Does this make me solipsistic? Too much grad school; I'm trained to problematize the hegemonic praxis of the other in a postmodern world (see?). I don't even know what I said, nor do I care. It's all chest puffing, and no one's mating this time of year anyway.

And lastly, have a, I believe, freshly-minted locust.

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