Friday, June 01, 2012

Stupid Animal Tricks

I've lived in a rural area for almost 30 years and have seen and attempted to dodge a variety of road kill. I'm good at anticipating when some bewildered furry creature is going to stumble in front of my tires on a hairpin curve in the rain. I am diligent about braking for unauthorized deer crossing without a sign. But since arriving in West Virginia, never have I seen a collection of vermin so stubbornly determined to fling themselves under my wheels. Prior to moving here, I'd only been the cause of one roadkill: a chipmunk. That's it; 37 years of driving, one chipmunk (I don't count the deer that actually ran into me). Since moving, though, I have personally removed from the gene pool an opossum, two rabbits, and a raccoon (though I think this was more of a suicide).

As you all know, I'm an avid bird watcher. And one of the more common birds at my feeder has always been cardinals; so I'm pretty familiar with their behavior. They are not the brightest of birds, nor have they been the dumbest. I've never had one fly into window glass -- something that can't be said for the sparrow population.

Then I came here.

I'm trying very hard not to make this a "state-identity" thing; let's just say there is a family of cardinals in my neighborhood who are a few feathers short of a boa.

It started this spring, when a young bird's fancy turns to...well, it should be other young birds. But not the Kirby Cardinals (Kardinals? Too cute? Kute?). From what I observed, they were more enchanted with their reflection in our window than with each other.

Now I know absolutely nothing of avian eyesight, but you'd think they'd notice the object of their affection is of the same sex, leading me to the conclusion that Kirby, WV, is possibly the Fire Island of the Cardinal world.

Still, you would think after a couple times whacking into the window, the stupid birds would...stop...and find some other object of desire. keep attempting to take off from a branch located right next to the window to fly into the window...over and over again. Early mornings sound like hail hitting the window.

So this morning I was getting ready to leave and I hear the familiar pitter-patter of misguided cardinals hitting the window coming from the living room. So I went to investigate and saw this looking back at me through the window.


I would like to stress the "looking at me" part; because he was looking at me...and Zsa Zsa...and Landshark, THE CAT.

Most birds would want to fly the other way. But, not this bird...
He just kept staring at me...the dog...and THE CAT...

...and continuing to fly through the window.

I can't tell you how this all ended since I stood there for about ten minutes waiting for it to occur to him that there was no way he was going to fly through the window to THE CAT and finally had to leave for work.

I envision him still perched on the rhododendron branch, swatting the window every now and then to check to see if it is still solid. I picture Landshark on the other side with the exact same goal.

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