Bird Fog

Yesterday was a clear, sunny day and I got some things done. It was warm but not ridiculous. Today, as you can see, is at least starting out in the soup.

I didn’t realize that the fog had rolled in until I got out of bed. My sinuses have plugged my ears quite successfully now for days so the fog horns were not heard. I’ve tried anti-histamines, decongestants, warm cloths, and am looking for a way to stand on my head because nothing else has worked.

I’ve learned many things living on this rock and have had many life-long assumptions proven false. The latest involves birds. It was always my impression that our fine feathered friends were smart. Now, maybe it’s just that all those videos of crows solving puzzles are examples of outliers, however I’ve been forced to rethink my long held beliefs.

I’ll give you the two most recent episodes of Birds Exhibiting Brain Fog.

My neighbour Anna has a wonderful variety of bird feeders and she gets a lot of traffic. I don’t try because I don’t have the trees she has and they like to have perches nearby. So, I just watch the cardinals and jays and others I don’t recognize in envy. (Side note: She asked me if I’ve seen any bats and thinks she needs to put something up for them. That will be interesting.)

I do feed hummingbirds. They are small enough to consider my bushes adequate cover and we deal very well together. I must have a new generation this year because they are actually sharing the feeders and there are very few arguments.

The feeders are placed so that I can see them through the windows and so that Cat TV is fully operational. Late yesterday I was walking into the living room and saw two birds on the front feeder – but there was something not quite right. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that I was seeing two yellow finches trying to get their beaks into the hummingbird sized holes!?! It took them a while but they finally gave up. I have no idea what they thought they were going to get. Before you say they were looking for a drink – trust me there are water sources in both our yards.

Another bird group which obviously needs remedial education is the seagull. These ever-present avian denizens have their uses. For example, if you’re looking for herring just look for a carpet of gulls out on the water. They will find and follow even a small collection of fish. A large army of them (yes, I looked up the collective noun for herring) causes major excitement in their world.

If they can’t get herring the gulls will feed on the shrimp which the herring eat. I can always tell when the little crustaceans are in my cove because the feeding noise level goes off the charts.

Yesterday there were gulls perched on breakwaters and rocks looking off into the distance for signs of herring. Meanwhile, a whale had chased enough shrimp into Pollack Cove to create an 8 foot wide swath the full length of the beach. A gazillion of them (the smell was horrific) just sitting there waiting to be eaten. The gulls continued to sit on their butts looking out to sea. Maybe the finches will give them a try.

2 Comments

  1. I never cared much for seagulls.
    And I even saw Jonathan’s movie. (my 11th grade English teacher took the whole class to her theater, yes, she owned ‘The Last Picture Show’ in my Hometown of 1897 population.)
    I digress.

    Still, I do not like them.
    I recall them invading Fremont CA when I lived there and I have never seen any herring in Fremont.
    Years later I did five years active in the U.S. Navy and liked them even less.
    Perhaps I need to attend a ‘Seagull Sensitivity Seminar.’
    Naw!

    ***
    Great post and I love the photos.
    Cheers,
    –Lance.

    Liked by 1 person

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