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This is fun: Bird Song Opera. Holy shit, I know what everyone’s doing with their downtime: scraping YouTube. I can’t tell you how many videos got shared on my local Whatsapp today. (This one’s from Uncle B).

The bird in the picture is a robin. We’ve discussed this before: British robins are a completely different species than American ones.

The European robin is a beloved bird because it hangs around all Winter and is not very afraid of people. Hence, they’re often on Christmas cards.

Truth be told, they’re assholes. Highly aggressive and territorial with each other and not afraid of people because, well, they’re assholes. But they’re so little and cute nobody cares. They remind me of chickadees.

They hang around me in the garden because chicken food. One little bastard buzzed me from behind the other day and actually grazed my cheek. Adorable asshole.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: April 2, 2020, 8:44 pm

I’m blessed with a bird song opera — the natural sort — every morning. Although we’re in a Florida development, it’s 25-30 years old so there are mature trees all over the place. And although the houses are on typical ¼ acre lots, ours is on the edge and a 100′ wide electric utility right-of-was is partially low brush (thus red-wing blackbirds, hurrah!) and also lined with oak, pine, palmetto, and pepper.

We have resident mockingbirds who are an absolute delight as long as you like to hear them right outside your bedroom window at dawn. (I do. Mostly.) Woodpeckers (pileated and red throated) abound, and so do egrets (snowy and cattle), cranes (wood and sand hill), herons (great blue and night). At night we have a coyote chorus with an owl backup group. I hear hawk screeches off and on during the day, with the birds circling in drifting thermals. And though they haven’t shown (yet) this year, we’ve heard the odd whistling call of bald eagles in the past. And speaking of whistling, two days ago I saw a group of about 30 whistling ducks perched on the power line. (Ducks perch on power lines?!? Who knew?)

So, yeah, I’ve been watching some YT but I’ve got some pretty good entertainment going on as I read a book on the lanai.

None of the avian entertainment enterprise have buzzed me, I’m glad to say. The only complaint I’ve got (and it is pretty darned minor), is the unruly mob of crows or grackles that can get pretty raucous trying to outdo each other’s attempts to make loud and ugly noises. But even so, they’re part of the scene and (grumble) belong here, too.

Comment from OldFert
Time: April 2, 2020, 9:02 pm

Maybe catch the little adorable asshole kamikaze and prepare it like the ortolan delicacy.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: April 2, 2020, 10:50 pm

We have a couple of mallard ducks swimming in the melt water in our back yard and eating the bird seeds we put out…spring has sprung! Have lots of black birds now as well. Saw a first couple of American robins today too :+)

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: April 3, 2020, 12:36 am

So European Robins are just like mockingbirds? Surely you do remember being bombed by mockingbirds from your days on the West side of the Pond…

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: April 3, 2020, 1:37 am

I always greet the mockingbird, so they don’t bomb me much.
Buzzards…oh right not songbirds.

We get as much chorus from canus barki as we do from birds.
Not very pleasant. I don’t mind the coyotes and coydogs because they start, do a chorus, and stop. The neighbor dogs go on for hours because the bird assholes here have been replaced by human assholes who don’t tend to their pets.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: April 3, 2020, 1:28 pm

A few years ago, on Easter morning, I set out a pair of microphones in our garden just after sunrise and made a recording I call “The Mocking Bird Hour”. He gave an amazing performance that day, supported by a lot of other birds giving short cameos and sometimes harmonies. Once, near the end of the hour a distant dog barks in an appearance for the variety. I choose Easter because although we live next to a decorative canal that attracts birds we’re still in the suburbs; Easter Morning was the lowest chance of any traffic noise. Since then, I’ve done two similar recordings – a blustery day that set all of our “Wind Chimes Singing”, and a “Summer Evening Cricket Serenade”.

I dropped them onto old fashioned CD’s and play them through our Stereo System I bought in the last century.

We like them for those times when we don’t want silence, but aren’t quite able to focus on real music….

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: April 3, 2020, 4:04 pm

The American Robin is a bully, too. But I used to mark the calendar with my first sighting each year (record: Jan 15, 1984, with snow on the ground.) We have the standard assortment of birds at our house, but lately a red-shoulder hawk has been spending a lot of time with us—perching on the hand-rail from our porch down to the street and mailbox. My small neighborhood is on the edge of town, and has thicket on two sides with an amazing variety of birds. The hawk—I think he/she is hunting for baby squirrels; we have plenty.

The first bird whose name I learned was the scissor-tailed flycatcher—because a pair nested in our back yard, and would dive-bomb me every time I carried the trash to the alley. But it was such a beautiful bird I forgave it for attacking me.

I miss living on our little farm where the sunrise chorus was mourning dove and quail.

Comment from peacelovewoodstock
Time: April 3, 2020, 4:40 pm

Ain’t No Sunshine … It appears that Bill Withers has shuffled off
his mortal coil.

(speaking of songbirds)

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