When I was young – 10-12 yrs old- my parents became members of a group that wandered the swamps, woodlands, and marshes of the Northwoods of Wisconsin, in search of….birds. Yes, birds. They called it “Bird Walks”. Every 3rd Sunday of the month was spent stomping around with septa- and octo-genarians in search of elusive species such as the Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, and Purple Finch. Those days were absolutely horrible for me, a source of great emotional pain, and probably the reason I drink. You see, all my friends were playing baseball, and I had to run off to see birds with the family. To this day my brother and I have beers and reflect upon those days of yore, missing the baseball game and general shenanigans of the neighorhood. Yet….in a funny…and fukked up sort of way, everything came full circle. I photograph and watch birds virtually full-time. The young lady depicted above has reared two broods and is working on her third. Her nest has been destroyed twice by storms, yet she has “endeavored to persevere”, and those young will soon fly away. My girl-person just yelled at me after reading this post, saying I’m placing blame where it doesn’t belong. My point here is that I love my parents to infinity and beyond for making me go on bird walks.
Holy shit! I’ve got a lot of birds nesting within the confines of , or at least in close proximity to my yard. The Robins are on their second, possibly third, broods of the season. This afternoon I’m having a cigarette on the deck out back and my cat lunges out of the bushes and grabs a fledgling Robin out of the deep grass. This young bird had just taken its leap from the nest. The parents wailed like crazy and dive-bombed my cat while the young bird was clenched firmly in his jaw. I struggle with letting my cat out anytime during the summer because birds are breeding and cats will be cats. Everyone is doing exactly what they were created to do but, alas, my cat is very well fed and does not need to consume my feathered friends. I immediately ran to the rescue and as Cash (the feline version of Johnny) ran toward me to show his prize the parents immediately began their cacophony of screeches while swooping in a desperate attempt to rescue their young bird. As I approached Cash, he dropped the bird at my feet with a sense of feline pride and the bird instantly switched from completely limp to escape mode. As the bird made his escape the parents began to attack the cat, and while the cat showed great resolve I was able to deter him from recapturing the bird. I took the cat back into the house and the commotion subsided. The young bird couldn’t quite get off the ground but was well prepared, and out of its nest for a reason. He seemed okay and I believe he will survive, as Cash will remain in the house for the forseeable future. The accompanying photograph depicts my attempt to photograph the young bird with parents in full swoop around my head.