Starling and rock dove to be specific. Judging by the bird droppings on the gargoyle’s wing, I’d say the starling has tenure.
I could probably actually afford the rent for a place that size, not much larger.
Come along. Mind the police tape, though; it’s the scene of a tragedy.
One egg, the size and color suggesting a Robin, so there should have been more and the end of July is far too late for just eggs in any case. My feeble forensics can find not a clue, Sherlock; the possibilities are numerous and multiply. Such a flock they are!
But I would favor a tale including shoddy construction on an unstable platform but there could well be more to it.
Like I said: I could probably afford a place like that.
One lone bird at
Dawn calls in the silence
Why do I hear the word
Something to look forward to… In this case, your memory of the future is being evoked by this image of a pleasant day in 2021 along Lake Michigan in Chicago’s Loyola Park.
(Swept up by tornadic winds in a violent thunderstorm, the vacant boat dock was shattered and deposited in a rain of debris miles inland where storm spotters had to explain what they meant when they reported: “It’s raining buoys!”)
Written, directed, animated by Seth A. Smith: “A free range rooster contemplates his death”…
Yes, you most certainly should.
A very just for fun short video from Motif:
For some circumstance, for some reason, birds have not been much on my radar this spring, but I did not notice this until I began opening my windows in the face of our pleasant heat wave this May. It was quiet in the morning. Too quiet. And thinking back on it, April and March had been the same. This is the season when many birds sing out on the common themes of sex, real estate, and aint-i-wonderful. It’s a great racket, as any male will tell you if candid.
Now, I’m not a birder, for all that I like birds, albeit some birds more than others, and so I’m not adept at recognizing who’s who, even if one were an owl. But something was obviously missing.
It’s the chimney swifts. For all the years I’ve been living in this apartment, there’s been a perennial colony that populated the courtyard and the parking lot across the alley. They are noisy, quarrelsome birds whose musical twitter masks dominance games, though for insects it probably sounds like the boom of doom, as if painted by a targeting sonar. They are not totally absent (in fact I hear a few as I type) but they do not occupy the space as they did. The local swifts displayed an intimate knowledge of the courtyard and lot. These chimney swifts lately do not; they ain’t from this neighborhood.
Their absence makes me wonder what else is missing. Fewer robins, perhaps? Or starlings? There did seem to be the usual crew of sparrows that hunt for spiders along the corners of brickwork and windows. But the near absence of chimney swifts may be influencing my perceptions.
The good news is that for a second year, the nighthawks are back. For more than a decade, they were largely absent from my little part of Rogers Park. These are probably the common nighthawk, judging by their electric squawks. I’ve always found the sound of them at night to be a comfort, for some reason. They do seem to be starting their hunt for insects a few hours before sunset and continuing on for several hours after sunrise. Is that new? I’m not a birder; don’t ask me.
Oh! And I did see a pair of purple martins in the parking lot a few days ago. They were a childhood favorite. I grew up with a large yearly colony in my back yard.
There are also a few unknown songs in the neighborhood. Not being a bird nerd, I haven’t the foggiest… One sounds truly tropical… Is it even a bird?
Why, I might be a proud parent, expect of course, I am not. There’s nonetheless an urge to be paternally proud at having seen two trees grow into a healthy adolescence, of a sort.*
This year has been particularly fine. It hasn’t been unusual for the trees to abruptly explode into blossom, a floral tribute to youthful drama, perhaps. But aptly enough it is usually a messy affair with a shadow of pedals like dandruff downwind and blossoms sickly aged from white into browns and ashen grays. Instead, the blossoms came quickly but remained. A steady breeze removed any accumulation of fallen pedals and removed them from the trees as well so that it seemed the blossoms were changing from white to green rather than falling away.
Calling the two trees “stately” would be a bit premature, imho, but compared to when they were first planted! Well. One could hardly call them trees. “Bush on a stick” would better resemble them though sparrows were heard to opine that they preferred actual bushes, thank you. And they were not alone in their judgement. A variety of foraging creatures bemoaned the lack of canopy. Still, the two were sweet, never failing a spring blossom.
This could not be said of the three trees these two had replaced. The previous trees had been of some endemic weed species that had grown into a dangerous hatred of the pedestrian. They had the habit of dropping sometimes sizeable, earthshaking branches, for the surprise value it seemed. Trimming them didn’t help. Sooner or later they were going to score a hit. They had to go.
I suppose the weed trees added some excitement to life, but that isn’t why I was sorry to see them go. If I loved them, it was for their canopy. It offered some security to creatures making a living from foraging. It offered a place to rest for creatures passing through.
Once, with the weed trees, a bald eagle stopped for a spell. It surveyed the street below that held more than a couple of small dogs protected by their leashes. It let out a horrific screech that surely got my attention but was uniformly ignored by the dogs and their humans on the street. The squirrels were nowhere to be seen. I swear they had advance warning of the visit and disappeared some fifteen minutes prior.
So what was my point, anyway? I think it was to share this spring’s graceful beauty and the context that provided some particular flavoring. It seemed to last forever with an echo…
*”expect” of course is a typo but delicious enough that I’m keeping it, thank you.
Wind? Chaos? Feathers and leaves? I’ve never quite figured out what follows in the wake of the Harold Washington Library owls.
Photo by Roman.
Photo by Roman.
Or maybe coops or maybe just hobbit-hole apartments, but that’s what these holes are: homes for swallows. This was in Evanston back in the summer of 2004.