I witnessed something odd in the avian world this morning. I am still not sure what to make of it.
While I was out watering willows and petting dogs and smelling the roses, I heard a cacophony (truly) of birds up by the house. I walked nearer, and saw ANGRY BIRDS in my grotto. Really angry birds.
My grotto is a small, privacy-fenced area just out our back door. It houses a small pond (complete with small fountain, which drowns out the noise from farm implements lumbering down the road), which in turn houses some giant goldfish. My grotto also contains giant banana trees. (I could be in Tahiti, for all I know), some herbs for the kitchen (or in Tuscany). And really ancient cat that I acquired last fall. We sadly lost our top two mousers last summer (presumably to Mrs. Fox), and was in need of a fine feline last fall. I saw a courtesy listing in our local ASPCA, and inquired withing. Is it an outdoor cat? Yes. Will she catch mice? Yes. So, I took my cat carrier to go fetch our newest mouser, and what did I meet up with but a seriously elderly cat who has some walking issues (her two right legs take a step, and then her two left legs take a step, so she looks like she is lock-stepping all by herself.), and what could I say to the kind lady in hospice who was trying to place her pets before she passed away? I said, "She's perfect!" I brought her home and let her out of the carrier, into our living room. That Spouse o' Mine stared at her and observed, "She's not exactly mouser material, is she?" And I replied, "No, she is not." And now this amazingly elderly cat lives her spring and summer months in the grotto. Just this morning I petted her and thought to myself, My gosh, does she ever get bored just sitting here? Maybe she needs a cat toy out here.
Well, she must have divined my thoughts.
ANGRY BIRDS included three robins, an oriole, and a cardinal. All fighting with each other. In my grotto.
As I got closer and closer to the house, I watched (and listened to) the birds. This was really odd.
Oh, NO! I got it!! There's a cat in the grotto! The cat must be up to no good! (I was thinking one of the other cats, not elderly non-mouser.) I opened the gate to the grotto, and there she was: our little, crippled, non-mouser, with a baby robin in her paws.
Just sitting there. Not chewing on, threatening, or anything. Just sitting there with her baby robin.
Boy, were those birds mad. Herein lies my quandary: Why were the oriole and cardinal involved?!
I scooped up the baby robin. All the birds kept it up with their noise. Little, crippled, non-mouser just looked at me as I walked away. So sad - that may have been her thrill of the year. I took a good look at the baby bird. He looked fairly mature, with feathers and all. I looked around for a tree to place him in, but all our trees are so old (and tall) that I didn't have a good place to set him. This is where bad judgement gets me every time when it comes to birds in the wild. (See: Birds: Part One) I took another look at baby bird. He looked mature. So I THREW him as high as I could up in the air. My rationale was that, as he reached apex, he would take flight and fly away to his happy nest.
Wow. I was really wrong on that notion. He reached apex and fell to the ground. The birds were really angry now.
OK. I scooped him up again, and walked around and thought and thought. Finally, I laid him gently in my jasmine. He stayed there. The oriole and the cardinal flew away. The robins calmed down.
This afternoon. I went out to check on him. He is still there. His elders are keeping watch. So! If no possum, skunk, coon, or fox gets him tonight, maybe he will have a long and healthy life ahead.