I’ve named this gull Loudenstein, because he is loud. In the mornings, when he squawks at me, I say “F. off, Loudenstein.” I say it just like that — “F,” instead of “fuck.” You know, just in case one of my neighbours is out on their balcony, and hears me swearing at a bird.
Here is Loudenstein. He wants his breakfast. Unfortunately, I’m out of seed: he has to settle for suet. Loudenstein doesn’t like suet. He’ll eat it, but he doesn’t care for the way it sticks to his beak, and has to be scraped off.
Loudenstein isn’t ready to give in and eat the suet, just yet. He dawdles and preens. Maybe, he thinks, I’ll see him waiting, and put out some seed.
Still no seed. Loudenstein stares, squawks, and shakes himself out.
This pigeon, I call Limey, not because it’s British, but because when I first noticed it, from across the courtyard, I thought it had wee bird-lime footprints on its head. As it turns out, those are just its feathers. Must be a defect, of some sort.
Someone should take pity on this bird, and colour in its blank patches.
What an ugly face!
It finally happened: the triumphant first flight! This is what I’ve been waiting for! One Junior Birdman in the air; one to go.
He seemed a little nervous. He circled around, a couple of times, with his feet outstretched, as though undecided: soar or land?
At one point, he became very confident, and beat his wings furiously, rising high above the rooftops.
Mostly, he flapped. And he squawked, the whole time, and his parents squawked with him. And then several more gulls showed up, and joined in the chorus.
So far, he has not found my feeder. He did, however, fly by my balcony and shriek in my face. Perhaps he’d have landed, had I not been in the window.