Bernie's Birdship

Thursday, May 05, 2005


SWALLOWS are building up their numbers- soon there will be acrobatic squadrons of orange and sapphire toy planes dive-bombing invisible bugs everywhere you look. I love how impertinent they are- zipping and arching right in front of your face, showing off their speed and coming within inches of you.

This morning, not much to report, except one behavioral observation regarding a GRACKLE. I’m riding my bike, minding my business on the north channel bike trail, shoving myself up to Evanston and looking for anything that’s not a ROBIN, GRACKLE, STARLING or other usual. Loyola kids are rowing their crew ships on the river to my right, and cars are rushing by on McCormick Blvd. to my left.

As I come around this corner in the trail, I see this crazy GRACKLE doing a rather refreshing-looking yoga move. The bird is on the ground in some nice springy grass, ass thrust back, tail feathers cocked up, and asshole (or whatever they have down there) exposed to the gentle breeze which ruffled the GRACKLE’s undercarriage feathers as it stood there brazenly. “That must feel good,” I thought to myself. Then I noticed the other end of the bird- the GRACKLE had his mouth agape, revealing a thin yellow palate, and his little bird tongue was sticking out! He was effectively airing out both holes. I’d never seen a bird in such a pose before, but I figured it was part of his early morning routine. I whipped by on my bike, and the bird kind of turned to watch me as I passed, never breaking his configuration or giving any sign of embarrassment.


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