Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Avian aversion

I don't like birds. Most everyone knows that about me. That's a very broad statement though, and it's not wholly true.

It's more true to say that birds scare me, particularly birds that fly at me. Chickens flock around your feet and legs when they think you have food. Ocean birds fly around your head when they think you may possibly have some tasty morsel for them. Even the sparrows that hang out near the zoo picnic tables are little daredevils when there's food involved. All of those scenarios make me cringe.

This morning, I saw a cardinal in the tree outside. I sat on the bench and watched him for quite a while, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. He and the resident bluejay were having a lively discussion, probably about the cardinal invading Mr. Bluejay's territory. Mr. Bluejay is a very territorial bird. He has fits about the dogs, who have been there longer than he has! He generally stays away from us though, and he very seldom ventures near us when we're outside.

Soon the pinecones will start dropping, and the children and I will make bird feeders. We do it every year. It seems like an odd thing for someone who has such a distaste for birds, but my aversion to them is very complex.

I actually do like to watch birds, and I like to hear birdsongs, but I have no desire to actually interact with birds. That's the heart of it: it's the interaction that I don't like rather than the birds themselves. The skittish songbirds who peck away at the birdseed are welcome in our yard. The overly brave ones will do well to stay away.

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