Terri Kaiser

Okay, is anyone else experiencing this? We have birds dive-bombing our house. And why? We’ve done nothing to warrant this savage attack.

From what I can tell, they are feasting on the buckthorn berries at the edge of the woods to the point of inebriation, then trying to pack it in against our windows.

A few weeks ago, we had a very special guest from North Carolina whom we’d hoped to impress with our peaceful life here in the northwoods, when a bird began diving into our living room window. It’s a bit disconcerting when, in the middle of a wonderful conversation, these feathery friends of the forest are bouncing off the glass. It started with a ‘thunk’. And then another. Then another. I believe it was only one bird attacking the window, but it made for an unwelcome distraction as we tried to visit. After about six times the ‘thunk’ was loud enough that we went to the window and sure enough, the little guy offed himself and lay in the middle of the porch, feathers blowing in the breeze.

Just yesterday, I was in my office, working my fingers to the bone typing away, when … thunk. Not again! Yep. A bird flew against the window. The fifth time I was certain this was it. I ran to the window to see the little gray fuzz ball lying in the grass. Well, there you go, I thought, that’s what you get for your irresponsibility when under the influence. But the thing rolled over, shook it off and started all over again. It’s quite distracting when engaging the brain to write the great American novel when you’ve got a bird playing kamikaze against your window. I can understand the birds gathering, one thing leads to another as they partake of the berries, what started as an innocent gathering develops into a full-fledged party and when it’s time to leave, having had one too many berries, they see the beautiful reflection in the window and who wouldn’t want to go there? But to do it over and over?

Several years ago, my mother was out for a visit and I stepped out into the screen porch, only to find a live partridge sitting in one of the wicker chairs and a big hole in the screen. Well, he looked at me, I looked at him and I started to scream. He flew off the chair, bounced off the screens into some of the other furniture, knocking over pots of flowers, while I ran back into the house, still screaming. My mother calmly went out, opened the screen door and ushered the bird outside. Yes, my mommy saved me.

Eventually, we replaced the holey screen, only to have it happen again. This time, the bird wasn’t so lucky. I, of course, had no sympathy whatsoever as our screen had a hole the size of a softball. Seems partridge like the berries on my flowering crab. And I’m not cutting down the tree.

What is it with birds getting drunk on berries and then in wanton disregard for their lives, self-destruct? I currently know of no other species that gets drunk and attacks perfectly good windows and screens. And when the collision doesn’t do the trick the first time, they keep at it. Talk about dedication.

Now, we all know navigation after intoxication is not a good idea. Someone needs to tell these creatures that if they are going to imbibe and then fly, nothing good will come of it.

So, the lesson here is whether you’re human or bird, partake Wisconsinably. Just don’t do it.

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