Monday, February 07, 2005

Avian harassment

Our cat is a supervisor. Which means that when you go to do something around the house she tags along, finds a convenient tree to sharpen her claws on to get into the right frame of mind, & then settles down to watch, to make sure that whatever you're doing is being done correctly.

So this morning, I'm at the pool checking the pH, the cat watching me, when down from the trees in rapid succession come about 40 blue-eyed honeyeaters which perch on two sides of the pool fence & in the bamboo above & shriek at the cat. She looks at them, makes bird noises back, & then looks at me as if to say "Okay, Buster, you're the muscle round here. Get rid of them." I obliged.

I don't like birds that shriek. Though these have some redeeming qualities in that they're quite attractively coloured, & they hang from branches upside down in their search for insects & such. In Sydney we had noisy miners which have absolutely no redeeming features. They're even more noisy, & extremely aggressive, driving most of the other varieties of birds away from any territory that they take over. They also have a fetish for grey fur, line their nests with it. & in Sydney we had a grey cat (which contracted diabetes & died after seven months of insulin injections, morning & night). The birds would spy her on the lawn & come sweeping down, dive-bombing her, grabbing tufts of fur & taking off as she lay hunched up, paranoid & petrified. Mind you, they probably had just cause because she was a bit of a bird-catcher.

There is another, smaller variety of the same bird family that I have never seen, only heard. It is the bell-miner, whose melodic 'pings' quite often accompany you as you drive through heavily-wooded sections of the highways. It is a sound you listen for, & are delighted when you hear.

 Posted by Hello

No comments: