Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nest Shyness


   Silence from Yellow Chats, suggests that at last they have settled into the hard work of child rearing.  Their quietness is deliberate.  Like all Birds of the air, display is for all to see but the nest is a secret place, and if in one moment a bird suspects his or her nest is being watched by a nosiness, he or she will suddenly become very aloof.  Then if I do happen to catch sight of someone emerging from a nesting area, I sense guilt in both myself and in the Bird.  I look away, pretend not to be engaged in some form of voyeurism, and from them, there's a statement I'll call "nothing new here."  And go ahead, call me a weak minded socialist, or a wooly headed communist, if you wish to.

      Many birds learn to detect harmlessness.  They'll let me stick a nose into their business, and these birds, in my view, tend to have gained a familiarity with my own habits that result in me being really quite low down in their hierarchy of worries.  Such birds tend to be resident birds, such as Mockingbirds, or a Carolina Wren, or a Phoebe.  From such Birds, it's more a statement of "He's a clumsy simpleton," than it is a  "Watch Out!"  But the interesting Bird, with respect to these sort of behaviors, is Barn Swallow.  From the moment they arrive, they'll take very little notice of me, and it's sometimes upsetting because I always. wave and say hello to them.  But I'd like to think this is because, Barn Swallows share a sense of place, and year after year, it's the same gang of Barn Swallows that return home to raise their young in the same hot and muddled barn that raised them.  And go ahead, call it the Republican Scientific Method if you wish to.


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