Bernie's Birdship

Monday, May 09, 2005


Brian pretty much covered our excellent birding weekend running around Saturday for the Spring Bird Count, and then Sunday we just went out to LaBagh Woods and it was stuffed with warblers. I had three or four life birds in there, plus I saw a giant SPINY ALIGATOR TURTLE- it looked like a gnarly half-deflated black basketball with claws and a tail. Brain says the only way to hold one where it can’t bite your fingers off is by the tail. Apparently, he slew one as a youngster with one of his bamboo swords or with one thousand bamboo skewers or something. He really digs bamboo.

This morning, I had PALM, YELLOW RUMP, BLACK & WHITE and the resident FLICKER calling and drumming on the river behind my house. Also, yesterday I had a dead INDIGO BUNTING at the base of my building- I think he must have flown into a window or something. I should have bagged him for the freezer so that Brain could get a look right then, but instead, I just picked him up by the tail and moved him out of the way.

Today, when I changed my mind and decided it would be worth it for Brain to see the bird, I went down with my plastic bag, but the bird was coated in a moving brown cloak of tiny ants, which seemed to be mainly crawling in and out of the bird’s eye holes. Instead of trusting the freezer to kill the ants, I thought about how my home has become kind of a moth breeding grounds. These moths live in suspended animation inside the tattered cushions of my 100+ year old Morris chair and come out to multiply in the spring, taking up residence in my hall closet, blankets, towels, everywhere. I looked at the ants crawling all over the bunting and decided to just leave it there.


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