Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blackbird


So the male blackbird, which so proudly sung on my rooftop with its arsetail pointed to the heaven, is now no more than a mass of scattered feathers. It made a perfect target for brer sparrowhawk up there. RIP you noisy musical bastard. Presumably a female blackbird has been left to rear the chicks alone.

There are a helluva lot of blackbirds and thrushes around my way. Presumably, the warm, wet conditions are ideal for slugs and snails and worms, a blackbird's favourite meal. Well, I say that, but I've never asked them what they prefer to eat. I know they love a bit of dogfood and rotten apple. There was one blackbird - maybe the fellow lately pecked to death - who was so enticed by the smell of dogfood in our kitchen that he'd hop right up to the closed back door in search of it. Right into the porch.

So with the explosion in numbers, the male blackbirds have been singing and hopping around on rooftops very vigorously. They're marking out their territory and trying to find some love interest. I've seen them trying to shoo away prowling cats too, although the starling is better at this.

Though once I got up early one morning to watch my long dead cat(then alive) climb the apple tree. A bunch of starlings kept hopping onto branches just above her, tauntingly out of reach. As they screeched derisively at her, a sparrowhawk suddenly hurled itself javelin-like toward the rising sun and took the toppermost starling clean off the tree. It made the most horrific, startled anguished screeching as the hawk carried it down to the field. Last I saw of it was a mass of feathers tossed into the air as the hunter stripped down its feast.

But while I have no love for starlings I like blackbirds. RIP.

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