Stop, thing!

I haven’t forgotten about birds! I’ve just been frightfully busy — and, speaking of frightful, I’ve come back with a tale of gore, guts, and, ehh…gyrfalcons? — guaranteed to make your skin crawl. (In fact, it’s a brief anecdote about one bird eating another bird, while a third bird tries to horn in on the snack, but let’s not let facts get in the way of grandstanding.)

On with the tale! At some point last week, I was sitting by the window, watching a fluffy young northern flicker, of the red-shafted variety, trying out its brand new wings. It was stretching them out and folding them back up, as though it simply enjoyed the way it felt, and coincidentally giving the world a lovely view of its bright red plumage. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the only one enjoying the display: almost the instant I turned my back, I heard a horrific scream from the courtyard. I turned around, just in time to see the poor flicker being borne off by a hungry THING. (I call it a THING not in a perjorative fashion, but because I didn’t get a good look at it, and have no idea what it was.) At any rate, off flew the THING, with the flicker’s dying squeaks tailing off in its wake. And up surged a gull, from its rooftop nest, and flapped off in hot pursuit. The THING wheeled. The gull undercut it. Both beat their wings furiously, and vanished behind the treeline, where I presume one or the other (or both) devoured the poor flicker.

And here they are, all three — you can just see the flicker’s beak sticking out, beneath the THING; I think it’s still alive, there:

The gull is not trying to save the flicker from the voracious thing.  It's trying to snatch it for itself.  I see gulls quite frequently, snatching other birds' prey.  Lazy gits.

The gull is not trying to save the flicker from the voracious thing. It’s trying to snatch it for itself. I see gulls quite frequently, snatching other birds’ prey. Lazy gits.

Dreadful shot, I know. They were halfway to the trees already, before I could snatch up my camera. In truth, I didn’t think I’d caught the THING, at all; I was so certain I’d only snapped the gull, I didn’t bother checking, till today.

(If you can identify the THING, please speak up. It’s quite a handsome THING, I think. I’d like to see it again, or failing that, a better picture of one.)

Not a Pink Bird

10,000 Birds, one of the best bird blogs on the Internet, has dubbed this weekend Pink Bird Weekend, and is updating accordingly. I mention this because

a) who doesn’t love pink birds?

and b) it’s my civic duty, as proprietor one of the worst bird blogs on the Internet, to try and horn in on the fun, with a bird that isn’t even pink.



By the way, Mr. Finch, nice table manners.

From the Department of Bad Behaviour: this morning, my least favourite bird poked his head in my window, and dropped a beakful of moss on the floor. I suppose I should be glad he didn’t poke his OTHER end in, and deposit something worse. Gulls!

From the Department of WTF: the other day, I was trying to listen to the news, when a smallish double-propeller plane decided to circle the downtown/False Creek area repeatedly, at a low altitude, spoiling my news-listening experience with its droning. I took a couple of pictures (you know, in case it crashed later, and accident investigators needed pictures, to help work out what happened), but I didn’t get round to looking at them till today. Upon zooming in, I noticed the word “SURVEILLANCE” emblazoned on its side, in great block letters, along with some sort of shield, and a Canadian flag. Lovely: a Big Brother plane. Stop watching me.

From the Department of Urban Pugilism: yesterday evening, some bald fellow invaded the apartment five floors below mine, and yelled at the tenant, as far as I could discern, for denting his car. He then chased said tenant across the courtyard, and off down the seawall. I shouted “Oi! You! Stop that!”, but nobody listened. I wasn’t eavesdropping, by the way. I was already on my balcony, watching the little sparrows get fed, when the shit hit the fan. I hope Car Dent Man didn’t get caught. Baldy looked quite dangerous. I should’ve got his picture, in case the police came round. Ah, well. Probably a good thing I didn’t. He might’ve heard the shutter, and decided to threaten me, instead.

From the Department of Bees: There’s a bee, in here.