Birds’ Miscalculations

Lately, I’ve had an unusual attraction to birds. Rather, they’ve had an unusual attraction to me.

In the past two weeks, five birds have miscalculated their flight patterns and have flown directly into either my office window or one of the windows in my home. A I write this, there is a robin perched just outside of my window, watching me. If I were a betting man, I’d wager that he’d fly into my window before I’m done writing this post.

I have learned two things regarding all of this.

One: I am much jumpier than I ever thought I was. I like to think I’m laid back, but when a bird comes crashing into your window, you can’t help but to jump. It startles me every time. Of course, I’m sure the bird is the one who is startled the most. Imagine flying along and suddenly finding a solid pane of air (e.g. glass).

Two: For all five instances, the bird hit with such force that it literally knocked the crap out of it. If you have ever wondered how bird crap gets on your vertically-standing windows, it’s because one flew into it. I’d like to think they crap-on-impact on purpose as a way of letting other birds know that glass is nearby (e.g. if a bird sees suspended bird crap it means fly far away from here.)

On one occasion, the one that made me jump the highest of them all, the bird hit my window with such force that I thought it died on impact. It lay motionless for about 30 seconds on the ground before it finally moved to sit up.

It then sat for at least five minutes, just trying to catch its breath. Then my neighbor’s cat appeared, in full stalking fashion. I thought to myself, “It’s just not this bird’s lucky day.” The bird saw the cat. The cat saw the bird. But nothing happened. They just stared at each other.

Eventually, the cat walked away — to my surprise. The bird, still recovering from its collision, finally got the break he needed. Five minutes later, he managed to fly away.

Maybe it’s birds who have nine lives and not the other way around.