Saturday, June 15, 2013

Cat vs Bird ... FIGHT!

Or, more accurately, ONE-SIDED-STARE OFF!

Blogging has been impacted by a busy couple of weeks (more on that in some other post), but this definitely deserved a post.  Lucy and I are staying at Mom & Dad's house for a bit, and Lucy's been having a grand 'ole time looking out the windows and watching all sorts of critters scurry past that she never sees at home.

This morning, though, she finally looked up, and discovered the family of cardinals who decided to build their nest in one of the trees by the family room windows, and did so in a place that you can see clear-as-day from inside the window.  When I say family, I mean family - the first week I was here I watched mama cardinal do nothing but squat on the nest all day long, while papa cardinal flew in and fed her berries.  Earlier this week the eggs finally hatched, and now I get to watch both mama & papa feed and look approvingly over 3 beautiful baby birds who open their mouths for food every time one of the parents lands beside the nest.  (Yes, you can actually see them from inside.)  It's really quite beautiful and calming, in a simple and natural sort of way.

Iz bird!  Iz bird!  Bird!  Bird bird bird bird bird bird bird bird!

Anyway, this morning Lucy finally figured out that
they're there, and immediately perched herself on the windowsill with her eyes glued to the nest, with her tail whapping like crazy behind her.  As you might imagine, Mama & Papa Cardinal were not particularly pleased with this situation, and immediately initiated an attention-diverting behavioral technique that I believe professional ornithologists refer to as "freaking out".

I mean seriously, these two birds went NUTS - started screaming at the top of their lungs, hopping around from branch to branch, fluttering right in front of the window like some kind of hummingbird, and just generally making as obnoxiously loud a ruckus as possible.  In turn, this drew the attention of some other birds, who flew down to the tree to see what all the fuss was about, which neither Mama nor Papa much appreciated, either, and proceeded to chase the interlopers out.  More ruckus - with Lucy getting a good neck workout by following every move.

Doing her best to satisfy both hunting instinct and entropy
This continued for a good 15 minutes, even after Lucy decided she was tired of balancing on the sill and adopted a decidedly more comfy position from which to watch.  Mama Cardinal eventually stopped fussing and just perched by her nest, *glaring* at Lucy with feathers all ruffled, but Papa Cardinal refused to calm down and just kept hopping about from branch to branch, squawking his little red head off non-stop.

This all finally came to an end when I decided the bird was going to kill himself if he didn't shut up soon (plus I couldn't stand the noise anymore), scooped Lucy up, put her out of the family room, and shut the doors so she couldn't get back in again.  Peace and quiet returned soon after (although not immediately, grah).  Lucy was not pleased with her displacement, but that lasted for about 10 seconds, which was as long as it took her to spot the chipmunk that lives by the back porch and shoot over to the back door to watch it.  Sheesh.

Alas, didn't get any pictures of the squabble, but if you're looking for a smile, here's the Cardinal family :)

Mama Cardinal at her nest

Closeup of Mama & one of her babies

Papa Cardinal, still freaking out over the cat that's a foot away from his nest

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