By Mark W. Danielson
My wife and I love looking at the birds explore our yard. We are fortunate to see bluebirds, cardinals, humming birds, hawks, jays, roadrunners, scissor-tailed flycatcher, blackbirds, vultures, and many more. Recent experience has shown a great disparity among birdbrains.
Let’s start with hummingbirds. One would think these adorable tykes would have short range at the rate they flap their wings, but they actually migrate to Central America by flying across the Gulf of Mexico. Impressive as it is, they are as short on brain power as they are in height. Days after a friend told me about getting trapped in his hangar because their only way out is “up”, we had one get “trapped” in our own hangar. Bear in mind, the large garage door that let it in remained open. After trying to attract it to bright colors, flowers, and trying to coax it with a large net, the dingaling kept struggling to find its way out through the roof. I finally raised the hangar door hoping the setting sun would attract it. Thankfully, it did. Unfortunately, as I write this, there is another dingaling in the hangar doing the same thing. Again, I opened the hangar door and hope it’s gone by the time I close it.
Now let’s talk about a larger bird. The northern mockingbird. Three times the size of the hummingbird, but has the same pea sized brain. I make this claim because one managed to get trapped in our small covered entry. Bear in mind there are open windows on two sides as well as the open main entry available for it to fly out at any time. But no, this dingaling kept trying to fly through the roof, as it were. Fortunately, this area is smaller so I was able to chase it around with the pole net until it wore down a bit and dropped altitude. Finally, it flew out the door.
Then there are the cardinals who I will describe as birds of a higher power. The reason they are featured as Angry Birds is they have attitude. You see, the pair in the above photo have been checking out our house for a while and seem to like it very much. They approved the courtyard and the front yard, so it was no surprise when they decided to explore the front entry. But make no mistake, these two were there by choice. Prime real estate for nesting. Easy entry/exit. Dry and protected. What’s not to like? So when my wife went into the entry and disturbed them, they looked down from the hanging lamp and scowled. Yes, scowled. Thankfully, the interruption proved enough where they left the same way they came. No raising the roof. No desperate struggles. Just a fly away with looks of disgust. Yes, we love our cardinals.
Perhaps this is why they hold such a special place in the Catholic Church. Birds of universal appeal and wisdom. It seems fitting to feature them the day following Easter.
And yes, the hangar hummingbird did leave before the sun set. (You're welcome.)