Double Take

This is a very greedy and/or hungry Bluejay. He's managed to get a pair of nuts from the feeder into his beak.

This is a very greedy and/or hungry Bluejay. He’s managed to get a pair of nuts from the feeder into his beak.

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Angry Bird

Well actually, it’s two birds who are apparently angry with my car. And if I am going to be technically and specifically correct, they are not angry at my car as a whole, but with the passenger side rearview mirror. And in truth, I am guessing they are angry with that which they see in the mirror. They see themselves in the reflection of the mirror, and thus, are angry with themselves.

Only apparently they don’t know it’s them.Image

I have to assume these two sparrows, who I am fairly certain have anger management issues, have taken up residence somewhere ┬áin our front yard, and most importantly, within eyesight of my car. My poor innocent Jeep Patriot has incited within these two sparrows, something akin to Hatfields and McCoys tension. Obviously, whenever my little silver Jeep is parked in the driveway (our two-car garage isn’t big enough for our family’s three vehicles, so I voluntarily park near the end of the driveway so my wife and step-daughter can park in the garage. It’s really not as noble as it sounds; I arrived to the household last, so the two stalls had already been claimed and I felt no urgency to park in the garage since I’d never parked in a garage at previous residences. Plus I just felt it was the right thing to do, letting the “fairer” sex of our family unit have the comfort of the garage — that’s the noble part. But I digress)

I’ve not noticed that it happens every time my vehicle is parked in its usual location near the end of the driveway (I park there to enable my wife to get out of her stall of the garage since she goes to work earlier than I do; she can maneuver around my car, therefore not having to wake me early just to get me to move my car). But on at least four occasions, I have seen these two pint-sized feathered fellows (well, it could be a male and female couple, or a gang of males — yeah, two is a rather sickly gang) making mean toward the passenger side rearview mirror.

And they aren’t shy about demonstrating their hate for that mirror. One time, I got into my car (on the driver’s side) and some action caught my peripheral vision, so I looked at that side of the car. There were those two sparrows going all … uhhh … Angry Birds … on the mirror. I sat there astounded that (1) my entrance into the car hadn’t frightened them away, and (2) that their attacks on that innocent mirror were quite vicious.

But as I watched from my car, and, as I watched three other times from my kitchen, it is pretty obvious those two birds are very, very angry. And their anger is directed toward that mirror. However, I have concluded that their anger is directed toward that which they see in the mirror. And that which they see is themselves.

Only they don’t know it.

At least I don’t think they do. It could be some bizarre ritualistic flagellation that exists within the sparrow species. Perhaps they feel the need to peck and scratch at themselves anytime they see their reflection. I guess it’s possible, I mean, who am I to profess to understand nature.

It is not a continual attacking by both birds. Rather, as one perches along the passenger side window, the other crashes itself at the mirror. The one launching the attack flutters fast and furiously, pecking its beak at the mirror. Sometimes its feet rise up in an attempt to claw at the mirror. But then, as quickly and intensely as an attack takes place, it stops. The attacking sparrow lights atop the mirror casing and rests.

But the rest only last seconds, as the anger-stoked bird bends forward, eyes the mirror, and then drops down, again fluttering madly, and repeats its attacking actions.

IMG_1138I also noticed that the car does not have to be parked at then end of the driveway in order to become a victim. Oh no. Twice now, the car has been parked up near the garage. Those pesky little birds swoop down from wherever they are stationed, and let loose with a fury matched only by Hell. And let me tell you, Hell hath no fury like a sparrow scorned — or at least a sparrow who thinks it is being scorned.

It has become my theory that the sparrow the attacking sparrows see in the mirror represents a threat. As it seems as though one of the two sparrows is the primary attacker, I am theorizing that the Jeep-jamming sparrows are a couple. And since one of this couple does most of the attacking — possibly all of it as, well, sparrows do tend to look alike or at least have differentiating differences so minute they are really difficult to tell apart — I am thinking the attacking sparrow is the male. And he is attacking the mirror sparrow as a show of machoism and to maintain his manly appearance. In other words, dude’s got a woman and he ain’t about to let her think he ain’t manly — in a bird sort of way.

So each time my Jeep is parked in our driveway, that male sparrow sees the mirror, and assumes his rival is sitting on the other side of the cover. So he dives out of the nesting locale, and proceeds to pummel the rival for his fair maiden’s affections.

But what make this whole aerial dance of maleocincrity take on an air of humor, is this little bird doesn’t realize he’s beating a reflective image of himself. He literally does not realize his rival is himself. He doesn’t know its him.

He’s beating himself up.

I fear this fine feathered fanatic is going to wear himself out, if not kill himself, with his tough guy act. I mean, my Jeep isn’t going anywhere. It will be parked there every day and every night. So if that little Arnold Sparrowennager keeps attacking my car’s mirror, he’s got a real long spring ahead of him. He will be too worn out from beating himself up that he won’t be able to go hunt food for his youngsters. He will be so tired, he will keep falling asleep in the nest each night, leading to a rather frustrated Mrs. Sparrow.

I confess, I am a bit worried about my Jeep’s attacker. Other than a few random droppings on the passenger door and mirror cover, courtesy of that poor pooped pecker, my car is showing no signs of damage. If the mirror could, I’d bet it would laugh at the little sparrow. I considered parking the Jeep out in the street, or in the alleyway behind our house, in hopes the mirror mixup would mildly melt away.

But I have decided to do nothing. It is nature. It is the nature of courtship, the statement-making, the billowing bravado of a bird-brained … ummmm … bird. If it is that sparrow’s lot in life to go around challenging car mirrors, just as Don Quixote challenged windmills, then I shall step back, clear the battlefield, and let the best man … errr … bird … or mirror … win. I actually imagined a day in the future, when the little sparrow might find himself lying on a bird psychologist’s couch, beating himself up over spending so much time beating himself up.

Like I said … it’s nature. And nature gets screwed up once in a while. I feel bad that I cannot do anything about this Angry Bird. I just hope someday soon, he realizes that getting angry solves nothing. Angry Birds just need to step back, recognize the futility of their actions, and become Happy Birds.

Yes indeed … let’s add some Happy Birds. Why don’t we give ourselves some Happy Birds. Happy, happy birds.