Crazy bird is one of signs of spring

March 29, 2004

It cheers me as I see from all the signs that spring is fast approaching. During the short warm spell we just had, my buttercups got confused and brought their bright sunny faces out of hiding only to be met by cold driving rains and chilly winds. They stood staunch and steady knowing that the sun was just around the corner ready to warm and invigorate them.

Another sign I see is the appearance of robins, those red-breasted beauties that hop and skip across the lawn, then streak to the nearest tree. Which, in my roundabout way, brings me to my story about a bird gone cuckoo. One morning, I heard a tapping sound. It didn't bother me at first. I thought it was something loose on my house. After this went on for some time, I investigated and found a chubby little robin pecking on my basement window. I had an owl figurine in the window, and thinking this might be the attraction, I moved it. But the robin just went to another window and pecked away. I try my best to believe that something good comes of everything, and running up and down the stairs like a mad woman did give me a lot of exercise.


Each time I scared him away, he didn't go far but would perch in the pear tree. Then he'd be right back, tap-tap-tapping in his nerve-wracking way. This was a determined little cuss and very brave.

But maybe he is a distant cousin to the bird that got into the house many years ago and knows what a yellow-bellied sissy I am. This uninvited guest probably got in through the chimney, but when I looked up to see a fat, little bird strutting down my hallway, I didn't care how he got in. I just wanted him out. It startled my cat, Telia, so badly that she ran and hid under the bed.

Taking the lead of my cowardly cat, I made a beeline for the bedroom and slammed the door. I stayed there until my husband came home and got the bird out.

Each spring I rejoice at the first sight of robins, and the irony of all this is how I have cursed my neighbors' cats for driving the birds away. Now I need something to deter this rapping, tapping little son-of-a-gun, a bird whose little game is slowly driving me to distraction.

I'm just hoping my windows hold up. You would think the hard glass would hurt this scamp's bill, but he keeps coming back for more. Does he see his reflection in the glass and like Narcissus, fall in love with his own image? Or does he think this is a she-bird and getting a jump-start on spring, falling for this image?

I've lived here for more than 43 years and this is a first. I believe this is the same robin coming back each time, at least I hope so. But if he's passing the word that he's seen a good-looking bird, the other robins might join in.

Just now as I was beating on the window to scare my pesky friend, I saw a large bluejay in the backyard. Though I usually dislike them because they're such bullies, I'm hoping he will run off the little rascal robin who is acting more like a woodpecker. What with the monotonous tapping, so right now I'm on Mr. Bluejay's side. At this stage of the game all I can say is "Go, Big Blue."

Norma Buchanan lives in Danville.|3/16/04|***

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