Snarky newcomer opines, basely

Bird is the word

Posted 4/23/24

Gently tapping, my Aunt Fanny!

We were startled awake by a horrible banging that sounded as if our old pipes were exploding simultaneously throughout the house, too loud and close to be the …

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Snarky newcomer opines, basely

Bird is the word


Gently tapping, my Aunt Fanny!

We were startled awake by a horrible banging that sounded as if our old pipes were exploding simultaneously throughout the house, too loud and close to be the quarry down the road blasting its mountain apart. I peeked out the window to see a woodpecker jackhammering the window glass, ignoring both its own name and the data in the study “Carousel,” penned by the famous naturalists Rodgers and Hammerstein, which proved that “Woodpeckers peck it on wood!”

WOOD, you silly bird, not the glass of the bedroom window before we’re out of bed. 

For birds, tis the season! 

I was sitting idly on the porch, wondering if it were time to put out the feeders for hummingbirds, when one flew up the front steps, looked at the empty spots to the right and left where the feeders were last year, then gave me a very birdily expressive look of “Well?”  before swooping off. Obediently, I grabbed the feeders from the garage, washed, filled and hung them up.  

On a morning I had not been woken by a head-hammering wacko woodpecker, I looked out to see a rather gorgeous bird on the arm of a chair on the porch. The bird was extremely pretty, its feathers all fluffed up, with a black head and pure white body. Very cool looking.  My eyes aged and bleary, and before my coffee, I wondered if it were a stray chicken of some breed that I didn’t know—which is all of them—maybe an Etruscan Panda-toned Fluffington. It didn’t seem impossible. 

We have been away from New York City long enough that it took me a few minutes to recognize a pigeon, especially as this one was far more glamorous than the usual. 

 But we don’t have pigeons in Equinunk and as far as I know (not at all) they do not migrate. Homing pigeons, not wandering pigeons, right?  Perhaps, like us, it had tired of the city and come for the quiet. But if so, it was not enjoying the peace as it might have, hanging around with the eagles by the river, but was instead acting like a teenager dragged on vacation who simply will not enjoy it. Just sitting and defecating.

I asked about lost pigeons on assorted internet places: a local email digest, some Facebook pages. A friend wondered if it was one of our neighbors’—who, we had not known, kept pigeons. 

But of course. This was not the first time one of their strays showed up at our house. We are just through the woods, down the hill and over a stream from their place, a simple path and natural escape route for anything not over-encumbered by rational thought. I’m just hoping they don’t get it into their heads to start rearing musk ox. 

They confirmed that, yes indeed, two of their delicately bred special pigeons had accidentally gotten out. That’s why she was so pretty, and perhaps why she was sticking around instead of flying off. 

The neighbor came over with a net, which broke before he even managed to get the bird in it. He propped open a cat-carrying cage on the lawn and prepped it with bird seed to lure the birdie in, but  she was cleverer than we were and now on alert. She snuck into the cat carrier and ate the seed when we weren’t looking. 

We humans were struggling to catch a literally bird-brained critter, who was both outwitting us and really enjoying crapping all over our porch, to go by her prodigious plethora of poo.

A few days later we realized we hadn’t seen her all day. Another night and day,  she still had not appeared.  We figured that (yes, I have to say it) the pigeon had flown the coop. 

To my great surprise I was a little bit sad. My husband was decidedly not.  Because, poop the pigeon? Nevermore. 

bird, tapping, woodpecker,


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