Tuesday, January 29, 2013
But birds are sometimes the stupidest creatures I've ever seen.
A couple of years ago, we had a fledgling male robin that flung itself against the picture window in our basement. Repeatedly. We'd hear a tap, go peek around the corner, and there he'd be, fluttering up to the picnic table and launching himself at the center of the window. Then he'd fall to the ground and rap his beak against the glass, hard, a few times before starting again. He did this over and over and over, for hours, and it went on for weeks. The window was filthy. Some of the dirt smears were wing-shaped. He eventually stopped, after he got old enough for us to tell that he was male. I figure he got brain damage and couldn't find his way back.
Fast forward a couple of years. I'm sitting in my office, and I hear that distinctive thud-click. Thud-click. I go peek around the corner, wondering if our robin is back, and guess what? No! It's a CARDINAL this time. He flies at the window half a dozen times and stops, and he always stops when we go peek. So I guess he's a *little* smarter than the robin.
I had to do a term paper on starlings for my ornithology class in college. I was so proud of myself when I figured out that they wiped their beaks on the branches of the trees to scrape off the dirt from digging for worms and bugs. I got that paper published in The Student Scholar. So I'm not completely ignorant when it comes to birds. I assume these guys are trying to court or attack their reflections or something, but I can't figure out why it never stops.
Anyone out there a birdwatcher with some insight into this?
at 8:22 PM