Monday, June 2, 2014

Birds Gone Wild

Probably Not the Late Night Reveler
Who Polices Bird Parties?
Horses & Blue Heron
Beard Gone Wild
The ZZ Top of Birds
More Preening
Ring-Necked Ducks
Probably Not the Late Night Partyers, Either
The Visit
A Duck, a Turtle and a Blue Heron Walk Into a Pond...
Evidently the birds party in the pines.

It's 1:30 a.m. and one of the GSPs decides she has to pee. The moon is nothing more than a clipped fingernail in a black sky. Stars and planets glow so bright I wish I had more interest in knowing their constellations, but the things unseen in the dark scare me.

Yes, I know, I'm a grown woman and I'm afraid of the dark.

I loathe these surprise potty breaks when every snap of a twig in the distance reminds me of a drooling grizzly or a rabid wolf. What I can't see, my over-zealous imagination invents. I'd be a terrific horror-writing novelist except I'd scare myself.

But I can hear the birds twittering. Worse, once back in the safety of my house, bedroom and bed, I realize that I can still hear the rockin' bird party. Who am I suppose to call to bust up the noise? Not the eagle; he'd be too intense, and probably eat a reveler or two.
"Hello, this is Bonner County Sheriff's Dispatch."

"Hi. This is Mrs. Mills, I live in one of those 12 houses in Elmira--the one with the blue roof by the old peat pond."

"Please state your emergency."

"No emergency, just wanted to report a disturbance."

"Are you in danger?"

"No, a noise disturbance. It's 1:30 a.m. and the birds are singing...loudly."

"Birds? Is that slang for teenagers?"

"No, birds as in know, beaks, feathers. I think it's the robins. They've gone wild."

"We can't do anything about birds..."

"But don't birds have curfews, too? Look it's 1:30 and they're disturbing my peace."

"Sorry, Ma'am."

My imagined conversation makes me realize how ridiculous it is that we call in noise disturbances to the law at all. Think of our ancestors and all the night noises they had to cope with--mating bull frogs, rowdy birds, hoot owls, howling wolves, yipping coyotes, wind in the willows...

The worse that ever happened in my 14 years living in the suburbs of Minneapolis was when the neighbor fired-up his lawn mower at 10 p.m. or teenagers laughed too loud playing midnight basketball in the cul de sac. But man, it set off some people when it did happen. Wonder how they'd deal with pine-partying birds outside the control of the law?

On that thought I doze off.

7:30 a.m. and I've missed the twilight. Maybe I should be disturbed by bird revelry more often. Coffee is percolating and dogs are sniffing for just the right spot in the dew-drenched grass that wets my ankles. The horses spot us from the back pasture and gallop to us.

I rub Snapper's velvety nose that is soft like a toddler's favorite stuffed bear.

That's when I spot Blue Heron.

Talk about gone wild, check out this bird's beard! I suspect he's come of age--mating age, that is. Blue Heron slips away more so than last year, and he never had this bird-manly beard. These wispy plumes indicate that Blue Heron is a full-grown adult.

And the beard could be on a Lady Heron, too. Talk about wild.

Then a group of ringed-neck ducks flap-flapping at each other, swim up to Blue Heron on his log. I think they're talking about last night's party.

They say it was the robins who are conspicuously absent this morning, not chasing early worms.


  1. I love it! I felt as if I were on your porch, sipping a cup of coffee and swapping stories. I could only imagine which birds were creating the ruckus. Naturally they would point their feathers towards another. My biggest fear on those nightly jots to the john, would be the slithering of a snake in the bushes. Or hidden behind the toilet.
    What a great story! I loved reading it. Thanks for sharing your pictures too.

  2. Ha, ha! Pointing their feathers at each other--that's great! But snakes...oh, that gives me one more thing to imagine at night. I tell you, some nights, those dogs just need to hold it in! Great swapping stories with you on our porches today!

  3. I get uneasy after dark in the wild because Toby is very uneasy. When a dog feels vulnerable, it seems right to be somewhat fearful (or entirely). Do you have nighthawks there? I love listening to the "sonic boom" they make when doing their nightly death dives. I don't mind if they break the sound barrier while I'm trying to sleep. I feel safer if the birds are being a bit rowdy. The real danger is when everything gets totally still.

  4. Exactly! My dogs actually shake which completely unnerves me. Then they stare into the darkness and I'm ready to bolt. But you're right--it's when the birds hush and the frogs stop peeping. That happened last April and was accompanied by a horrendous stench--three nights in a row. And all the ducks disappeared and didn't return. We think it was a wolverine passing through. It was so silent...But no, I've not heard nighthawks. You'll need to write about them--sounds fascinating!

  5. Charli, I was literally laughing to myself reading this post! Especially the pretend conversation you had with the police department!
    My boyfriend and I thought we were going CRAZY when we started hearing our birds up at all hours of the night. We call them "our birds" because ever since we started feeding the little runts, we've had robins, cardinals, woodpeckers and blue jays move into the neighborhood. We do love them though=) But it sounds like a rain forest outside of our window at 230am! They probably sing to each other all the way down to where you reside! "Hey, Charli, this is runt numero 234, Gina's bird from way over yonder. We heard your birds like to party here too!" Watch out Charli, I'm the bird whisperer and since your neck of the woods is rockin, I might have to send more your way=)

    1. So that's where they came from! The runts are loving the pine-parties, and I don't even feed them. Can you send some birds this way that like to sleep in? Thanks for stopping by and I happy you got a chuckle!

  6. Hi Charli, I love the pictures here and chuckled at the 'slang for teenagers' part. I'm visiting via Gina's blog. Glad to meet another fellow blogger-writer!

  7. Hi Claudine! Nice to meet you (via Gina)! Thanks for stopping by and checking out the birds since the sheriff's wouldn't...:-) But now I suspect they are imports from Gina's way.

  8. Wish I could have seen this. Great photos of the blue heron. It is quite a beard. I'm pretty used to our night visitor sounds. The owls hoot me to sleep.

    1. Owls hoots are a lovely lullaby, indeed Barbara. Our pine revelers are a bit obnoxious. That beard on Blue Heron is something else! Glad you appreciate it!