ARTISTS AND BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis
"Tongue Lashing From A Bird"
My Honey remembers well when he was a kid, of being given a tongue lashing by his Father for things that wouldn’t have taken place - if he had just thought out the consequences. Usually these episodes were brought on by a brother or cousin saying. . . "I bet you can’t do that, or I dare you to do it." These verbal encounters come back often as memory flashes today, when something doesn’t quite work, and he says to himself, . . . "Why did I do that?"
The other day, when Honey was working in our pasture to get things ready for winter, he found a leak in a water pipe support that had formed a perfect bird bath about three feet above the ground. This small pool of water was gently leaking over the side of the pipe, forming a trail of blue-green algae all the way to the ground and swarming with small bug life. Honey took a drill, made a few holes in the support pipe, and drained the water. He sat there in the pasture for a few moments, enjoying the wonderful fall afternoon before making any permanent repairs. Honey was about five feet away from the pipe when a House Wren flew to the empty, drained, make-shift, perfect bird bath. This little bird turned and looked right at him . . . and started using 'bird cuss words'. It was obvious from the tone of voice and the attention the bird was paying to him . . . that it knew who had ruined the bird bath/dinner plate, and who had screwed up his favorite watering hole. The House Wren, sitting on the edge of the pipe, gave him a tongue lashing he hadn’t heard the like of for years. Honey said he has never had any bird pay him that much attention, or talk to him in that tone of voice. It was a delightful experience.
House Wrens are independent birds, bubbly and energetic, just like their songs. They are not attracted to bird feeders, but can be found hopping quickly through tangles and low branches searching for a meal. They are a small, compact bird with a fairly long, curved beak. They have a habit of keeping their tail either cocked above the body or slightly drooped. The House Wren is a common backyard bird over nearly the entire Western Hemisphere. House Wrens will use nest boxes or be content with twig-filled nests in old cans, boots, or boxes lying around in your garage.
Our monthly Field Trip will be the Saturday, November 17. Meet at 8:00 a.m. at the BLM office for a Cedar Valley Winter Raptor experience. For more information call 435 673-0996 or go to our website redcliffsaudubon.org . Marilyn Davis is the artist for the House Wren.
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