Ever hear someone complain about flocks of noisy birds disturbing the peace and leaving mondo poops everywhere? Of course, you have. I know I've shoo'ed away seagulls in grocery store parking lots, and I've tooted the car horn at massive flocks of blackbirds chattering in an empty field. Maybe those seagulls were confused by the Long John Silver's restaurant and thought they really were seaside, I don't know. I do know I have only a vague idea why I would be bothered by big gangs of vagabond birds.
I was much too much of a scaredy cat to ever have watched more than a clip from an Alfred Hitchcock film, so flashbacks of birds pecking out eyes and such can't be to blame. Quite possibly, the bird poop is at the root of the distaste we seem to have for big groups of blackbirds, seagulls, or pigeons. Duh-- that has to be the reason when the birds congregate in towns or cities where people will have to walk around the poops.
But is there a good reason for me to look with distaste on a flock of blackbirds in the field?
Now, that probably sounds like a stupid question, and I know there are smart answers having to do with some birds threatening other birds, etc.
What makes me ask the stupid question, then?
It's like this: I was sitting in the living room earlier this afternoon, trying to stay out of the sunshine because my eyes were still a little dilated after an eye exam. Suddenly, the sunlight slanting across the other side of the room started wavering and quivering. My first thought was that my eyes really had gone bad! That couldn't really be the problem, though, so maybe we were having an earthquake? That could happen, but it wasn't very likely to be the culprit since I didn't feel anything quivering and shaking. So what was happening?
It was blackbirds, flocks of them, flying across the sky. Keeping my eyes open and my mouth shut, I stepped out the doors and onto the upper deck (the kiddos call it our "sky deck") to watch the birds. It was like watching waves breaking and curling in the sky. The ones that settled in the trees at the back of the yard looked like so many flecks of pepper on the trees. The noise fills the air, not at thunderous levels but definitely fills the space.
It's really a spectacular sight if you view it without preconceived notions.
Blackbirds, I think I might not dislike you so much.
I'm not sure I can say I like you,
but you're not so bad.
P.S. Dear Seagulls at the Beach,
You are at least on the right track, since the lake is a bit bigger than a puddle... I do like to watch you!
P.P.S. Dear Seagulls in the Parking Lot,
Stop begging for fries when I happen to eat my lunch in "your" parking lot!