Friday, March 23, 2012
The beat goes on
Yesterday there was a tremendous thud on my living room window. I jumped up and ran to look. The first thing I saw was a wad of feathers stuck to the glass and, looking down, a large bird gasping on the grass outside. Chase slept through the impact but Lottie, who was was outside, is not above gnawing on anything that looks like a bird and tastes like a bird, alive or dead, so I went outside to shoo her away from his body while I debated what to do next.
She heard the thud too and was right there with a knife and fork, but he was still breathing, so I grabbed her and put her in the house. I hoped he'd be one of those silly birds that spank the window, sit down for a few minutes collecting their thoughts and then fly away fit as a fiddle. Some are too injured to fly and suffer for a while before the angels come. I hate that, but my skills aren't equal to bird rehabilitation, or even convalescent care. All I could do was prevent Lottie, who is a little closer to her hunting ancestry than Chase the doddering pacifist, from chewing on Mr Bird while he counted out the minutes.
He died by the time I got back out there. He was so beautiful: stunning black-and-white houndstooth vest, tail feathers shiny black on top and burnt orange velvet below, and a soft brown face with a long strong beak. I moved him a little, just in case, but he was dead as a doornail. I hoped he didn't have a family of hungry babies waiting in the nest for their dinner of grubs. Later Google identified him as a Western Flicker, who behaves like a woodpecker. He (or one of his teammates) had lived in my neighborhood for several years, making woodpecker noises.
Now he's gone. I wrapped him in a plastic bag and put him in the trash can so Lottie, or any other creature, wouldn't ravage his carcass, and I wouldn't have to dispose of him in a week when he had grown significantly less lovely.
In other news, Chase heard about a new fad, like Planking or Draping, called Cat Breading, and he pestered me until I fixed his costume and snapped a picture. He is especially pleased that he's the same color as Sara Lee Whole Wheat Lite bread. Perhaps all this talk about dead birds was kind of a downer; or else he already forgot. Probably the latter.