Monday, March 3, 2008

It's the Silly Season

And I'm not talking politics. This is important stuff! In spring the English sparrow's fancy turns to love! The males are busy gathering nest material. It's pretty funny to see them play tug-of-war with a dry blade of grass, and roll head over heels when it finally breaks loose. One flew into the cedar hedge (sparrow condos) trailing a spray of tumbleweed. The tumbleweed caught on the cedar branches, the sparrow kept on going, or at least his body did. He wouldn't let go of this prize, so his flight came to a rather sudden stop. I hope birds don't get whiplash.

As I may have remarked a dozen times already, sparrows must be the evolutionary remnants of T-rex, or at least some particularly vicious raptor. They are aggressive, violent and downright nasty, especially in the spring.

Scenerio on the lawn this morning. Female sparrow pecking seeds, perfectly happy, sweet little thing. Male sparrow lands next to her, squats slightly, extends his wings out to give him that buff and ever-so-chic Arnold Sparrownator look, and hops around her in a demented sort of dance.

She doesn't even look up, but with persistence he gains her attention. She is NOT IN THE MOOD! and has no reluctance to tell him so. She lights into him, grabbing his wing in her beak and thrashing him about.

His ardor is undimmed. In fact he seems to like her feistiness. Maybes he's into domineering chicks. At any rate he throws even more energy into the dance, and thus attracts another male sparrow.

The pair becomes a trio, which enrages Ms. Sparrow even more. She goes after each one in turn, pecking, biting, pulling feathers, slamming them with her wings and doing karate kicks with her little feet.

The dancers get even more excited by her rejection. But now the first one decides number two suitor is one competitor too many. One attacks Two and knocks him to the ground. They roll around screaming curses at each other.

The lady sparrow flies away but the fight continues. I go out to break it up but they just fly far enough away for comfort and start hitting, pecking, kicking and screaming again. Oh well, what do you do? I get the feeling that sparrows are not good candidates for Buddhahood.

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