Bird brains help in solving pecking problem
Jealousy makes us do some terrible things.
Like ram our heads into windows over and over and over.
I was sitting at my dining-room office on Tuesday when I heard tapping at a window behind me.
That was odd. I figure my neighbors (and most people) would just walk up to the front door. I went to take a look and was promptly faced with the business end of a songbird.
A robin attacked a window a few feet from my work station every minute or so (with some longer breaks) for a couple hours.
It reminded me of a time at a drive-through safari that an ostrich attacked our window and just wouldn’t give up. At first, I assumed there must be tiny food bugs at the window. An expert explained that that wasn’t it. Actually, they just have ‘really tiny brains.’
Back to my Warren, Pa., window. No six-foot bird here, just a little robin. Clunk. Clunk, clunk. Clunk, cla-clunk, clunk.
At first, after the initial concern that a human might be knocking on my window, it was entertaining. ‘Look at the stupid bird.’ I don’t suffer from an over-abundance of compassion for things doing stupid things. If it had died by crashing into my window, I would have felt something closer to sympathy. But it didn’t.
I think it could have kept on all day. I even remarked that woodpeckers do that kind of thing as a profession.
There were wing-prints, talon- (do you call them talons on a songbird?) prints, and beak marks on my window.
Sometimes, I would get a break. Of course, these times didn’t result in me doing any more work. I went to look, assuming the thing was dazed on the ground in the roses. No. It had simply gone for a different rival — my neighbor’s window.
I’ve started to think that my bird may have been of exceptional, rather than average to below-average, intelligence for its kind.
A quick Google indicates that birds will attack their reflections. I get that.
But this bird would fly in from the side to attack my window. No way it could see itself from the corner of my fence. It must have remembered that there was an enemy bird on my window. Smart …
The question of intelligence extends to the other participants.
My dogs — who will rush to any window and bark at anything — didn’t care that something was repeatedly knocking on a window. Bird-brains.
I didn’t like the bird attacking my window. It distracted me from work. I stood at the window for a while. That kept the bird from approaching as long as I stayed visible. I jumped in front of the window as it was approaching once. That kept him away for a few minutes.
But, I kept going back to my seat, getting back to work, and getting annoyed when Robin started up his dance again.
I took photos and video. I texted a video. My wife said, ‘Why don’t you close the curtain?’
I did. And the bird stopped.
My human ‘higher intelligence’ should have allowed me to come up with that one all by myself.
So, maybe I’m a bird-brain, too.
If you see me bashing my head into a window repeatedly, call for some help, OK?
Brian Ferry is a Times Observer staff writer. Send comments to email@example.com