Okay, I think my reality check has bounced. The other day I was talking to a chickadee. I don’t even talk to humans that speak another language. I used to try to talk to my dog, but that was futility. I rebuke Sue when she instructs bees to leave. I don’t think she uses enough bz prefixes.
So why would I talk to a bird. With or without cheeping. Maybe it’s genetic. Both my mom and dad used to talk to birds. Once they tried to convince a caged pet to say pretty bird. Problem was my mom coached pritty birdy and dad used perdybird. The stupid bird just cocked it’s head from side to side. Outside though my dad was quite adept at bird calls. He was able to lure cardinals to the porch all the time. Why he would then switch to the English language is beyond me. Who knows for sure what they interpreted his ‘call’ to be, but English bored them quickly.
So there I am, putting seeds in my feeder and chatting…in English…with a Black Cap Chickadee. I remember my dad teaching me that bird’s call. It’s actually a chirping version of its name. Did I use that call or even a pathetic, humanized translation of “come here chick-a-dee-dee”? Nope.
I flat out used the humanized vernacular — “Ready to chow down?” He just sat there a mere foot away and blinked. In rapid succession he blinked and skewed his head from side to side. Now, in any language that has the clear meaning of are you for real? I guess the presence of a nut case didn’t intimidate him. He stayed right there on his nearby perch as I filled the feeder.
Chickadees are probably the least intimidated bird that comes to my feeders. They easily sneak in behind a feeding dove and snatch a sunflower seed and zip off. The dove swirls around and stabs. Too late…and another Chickadee encroaches behind him again.
The dove tries another ploy. Spreading his wings a bit and opening his mouth wide, he coos. Coo? Oh, that’s a heartless trick God played on them. A big bird like that and no voice to go with it. I don’t suppose cooing would scare me off either. Of course they do possess an ominous beak, but it’s not quick enough to ward off the elusive smaller birds. Here’s the catch tough. The cooing attracts other doves and that’s were the beak reigns supreme. The quickest beak stays on the feeder.
Quick beaks or menacing chirps aren’t needed with all birds. There does seem to be some sophistication and social graces for the Cardinals and Waxwings. Males first. No wing flapping, menacing chirps or even intimidating stares. The guy eats first.
That seems to be the law. But I think there’s a woman’s movement to repeal that precedence. The other day there were two females waiting patiently while the male chomped away on select morsels. I could see them exchange glances, then voice something to each other. They moved closer together and glanced first at the male then at each other. They would successively dip their heads and continued the chirping between themselves. It was fascinating to watch. I almost wished I could understand what they were saying to each other.
No, I don’t! What am I saying? Is that a vulture circling over my brain? I don’t want to talk to Doves, Cardinals, Chickadees …and especially not hovering vultures. I’d rather talk to myself than admit I talk to birds. In a way, though, it’s just about the same thing. Either way, I never get an answer.