Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Massacre on 32nd


Survival of the fittest is nature’s way. The theory being that the strong will survive and live to breed, creating stronger and stronger offspring generation after generation. That’s the theory, but the reality is that while the strong struggle for the top honours, some weasel is sneaking in and having their way with the female. Thus, it isn’t the strong that pass along their genes, it’s the slippery bastards and that is why there are so many politicians.

I was walking along today and I witnessed that aftermath of survival of the fittest. There was a less fit bird that lost his place in the evolution of the species. I couldn’t tell whether it was another bird or flock of birds that attacked this bird, but it must have been a hell of a fight. I picture a lone bird being attacked by a “tiding” of magpies or a “murder” of crows, flying high and low, veering to the east and then the west, into trees and under bushes, until eventually, exhausted it makes a desperate last stand beside the Costco parking lot.

It must have been quite a long and arduous chase, because when the “tiding” or “murder” finally caught their quarry, it wasn’t pretty. I don’t know how, but it appears that they fed the bird into a wood chipper. There were feathers spread up and down 32nd street as far as the eye could see. Where would they have found a bird sized wood chipper? Is there a Rodgers Rent All for the avian nation? What do they use for money? How do they get around not having thumbs?

I suspect that they didn’t use a wood chipper, but used talons and beaks to get the same effect. I don’t know why they were so pissed off at this particular bird, but they plucked every feather from its body and then I would imagine they got nasty. I saw lots of feathers, but no remains. I can’t help but wonder if the bird was eaten alive or if it mercifully died while being plucked.

Yesterday, a pigeon crashed into our front window, and dropped to the ground. I looked out and it was lying still on the grass. A Crow landed beside it and pecked at its tail and then flew up to a branch just above it. I looked at the tree and there were at least five crows and six magpies sitting in the branches. Not on my watch they don’t!

I went out with a noise maker and frightened the birds away. I was going to pick up the pigeon and say a few words over his dead body as it was being interred in the garbage bin. However, the noise maker was loud enough to bring good old Pigeon back to life and it took off and hid in the hedge. I figured I had done my duty and given it a chance to fight for its life. I did some good yesterday!


Well, perhaps I just delayed the inevitable, judging from the massacre on 32nd. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose and at other times we just put off the inevitable.


A bevy of quail
A bouquet of pheasants [when flushed]
A brood of hens
A building of rooks
A cast of hawks [or falcons]
A charm of finches
A colony of penguins
A company of parrots
A congregation of plovers
A cover of coots
A covey of partridges [or grouse or ptarmigans]
A deceit of lapwings
A descent of woodpeckers
A dissimulation of birds
A dole of doves
An exaltation of larks
A fall of woodcocks
A flight of swallows [or doves, goshawks, or cormorants]
A gaggle of geese [wild or domesticated]
A host of sparrows
A kettle of hawks [riding a thermal]
A murmuration of starlings
A murder of crows
A muster of storks
A nye of pheasants [on the ground]
An ostentation of peacocks
A paddling of ducks [on the water]
A parliament of owls
A party of jays
A peep of chickens
A pitying of turtledoves
A raft of ducks
A rafter of turkeys
A siege of herons
A skein of geese [in flight]
A sord of mallards
A spring of teal
A TIDING OF MAGPIES
A trip of dotterel
An unkindness of ravens
A watch of nightingales
A wedge of swans [or geese, flying in a "V"]
A wisp of snipe

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