Wednesday, August 11, 2010

BIRDLAND

There’s a fascinating hierarchy in our neighborhood’s feathered world. If we had hawks roosting in the trees the crows wouldn’t give them any peace. In turn, the scrub jays torment the crows. The starlings (and the squirrels) scold the jays while the swallows dive bomb just about everybody in range. When it comes to the swallows, I’m not sure if it’s harassment or “let’s just see how close I can get without losing any feathers,” because I think I got dive bombed this morning while I was bending over contemplating a stubborn weed. “Something” buzzed over me; it was too loud to be a hummer and there was a flock of swallows dancing overhead.

Earlier, as I was chasing the last strawberry on a plant, I stood up and found myself eyeball to feather ball with a hummer. It “chpp, chpp’d” at me a couple of times and zipped off. I last saw it harassing a swallow near the neighbor’s porch. I wonder if hummers have a version of neener, neener, neener. Obviously, wingless humans are at the bottom of the pecking order. LOL