Wednesday July 18th 2012 Tim
Silence from Yellow Chats, suggests that
at last they have settled into the hard work of child rearing.
Their quietness is deliberate. Like all Birds of the air, display
is for all to see but the nest is a secret place, and if in one moment a
bird suspects his or her nest is being watched by a nosiness, he or she
will suddenly become very aloof. Then if I do happen to catch
sight of someone emerging from a nesting area, I sense guilt in both
myself and in the Bird. I look away, pretend not to be engaged in
some form of voyeurism, and from them, there's a statement I'll call
"nothing new here." And go ahead, call me a weak minded socialist,
or a wooly headed communist, if you wish to.
Many birds learn to detect
harmlessness. They'll let me stick a nose into their business, and
these birds, in my view, tend to have gained a familiarity with my own
habits that result in me being really quite low down in their hierarchy of
worries. Such birds tend to be resident birds, such as Mockingbirds,
or a Carolina Wren, or a Phoebe. From such Birds, it's more a
statement of "He's a clumsy simpleton," than it is a "Watch Out!"
But the interesting Bird, with respect to these sort of behaviors, is Barn
Swallow. From the moment they arrive, they'll take very little notice
of me, and it's sometimes upsetting because I always. wave and say hello to
them. But I'd like to think this is because, Barn Swallows share a
sense of place, and year after year, it's the same gang of Barn Swallows
that return home to raise their young in the same hot and muddled barn that
raised them. And go ahead, call it the Republican Scientific Method if
you wish to.