Loudenstein’s Winter Finery

Been a bit under the weather, this month, hence the lack of birdy delight. It’s hard to follow birds around, when you’re cooped up indoors. But I did get to watch Loudenstein’s Clorox-white summer feathers moult away, to reveal his grubby winter cap:

Loudenstein's looking awfully mucky, these days.  C'mere, boy.  Let me wipe your head.

Loudenstein’s looking awfully mucky, these days. C’mere, boy. Let me wipe your head.

Poor Loudenstein.  The feeder was empty, when these pictures were taken.  That's the best way to make him pose for portraits:  come up to the window, as if I mean to feed him, then snap away to my heart's content.  He'll wait pretty much indefinitely, as he knows the food's coming...at some point.

Poor Loudenstein. The feeder was empty, when these pictures were taken. That’s the best way to make him pose for portraits: come up to the window, as if I mean to feed him, then snap away to my heart’s content. He’ll wait pretty much indefinitely, as he knows the food’s coming…at some point.

I think he was getting a bit annoyed, here.  A moment later, he puffed himself up, and shook tiny water droplets and feather particles all over my camera.

I think he was getting a bit annoyed, here. A moment later, he puffed himself up, and shook tiny water droplets and feather particles all over my camera.

I hate to say it, but I’ve become fond of Loudenstein. He’s a very irritating bird. He comes here ALL THE TIME, eats ALL MY BIRDSEED, and pecks ALL MY CROWS. He wakes me up first thing in the morning, begging for food. Sometimes, he takes a nap in my planter, and makes funny noises in his sleep. But he’s not entirely dreadful. He stays out of my bedroom, unlike certain sparrows I could mention. He doesn’t (usually) shit on my deckchair. And if I say “Shut up, Loudenstein,” he usually shuts up, at least for a moment. If I talk to him, he stays and listens. Not, of course, that I have much to say to him. I say “Have you been a good bird?”, sometimes, and “Don’t bawk; Breaking Bad‘s about to start” — well, I suppose I’ve had all the use I’ll get, out of that one. That’s over and done. But something else’ll be along, and I won’t want him bawking during that, either. Oh, and once, I told him about a tasty-looking recipe I’d just found online, and speculated aloud that it might taste better than birdseed. I went on to inform him, a little superciliously, that he wouldn’t be finding out. He stared, and made a weird little yip, in his throat.

Gulls live a long time — well, thirty years, or so. I wonder how old Loudenstein is? I hope he’s not set to knock off, soon. I’ll miss him, when he’s gone. (Unless, of course, I knock off first, or move away. Then, he’ll…well, I can’t imagine he’ll miss me, but he’ll have to find somewhere else to eat.)

Bookmark the permalink.