14 October 2012


This morning, as I prepared to move my somewhat hungover body from bed, Canada geese flew over honking and shitting like pissed up Canuck fans after a rare play-off win. From the trees out back I could hear previously quiet songbirds answer the sky Cadillacs with their own happy calls. 

Have not been many birds around the house this summer. Too fucking dry, especially for the worm eaters.

Now, like the rain, and unlike NHL hockey, they are back.

About one hundred robins rocked the back garden today. Tree to tree, limb to limb they have bounced like our motherfucking Prime Minister between Chinese companies he can give away Canada's past, present and future to. From there they take turns hauling worms and (I hope) leatherjacket eggs from the Hammer's cratered territory. In the craters they take baths and drink like they have not drunk for months.

Amongst them a female northern flicker, not a bird I have seen from my kitchen window in the past, pecked the grass for her meal. The robins, who trust no one, kept an eye on me in the window. The flicker, a bird after my own northern heart, did not give a fuck.

The raven may be my favourite bird but the songbirds, who I have designed my back garden habitat to attract and please, have always been there for me when I need them, like I needed them today.


paul said...

Northern flickers are amazing. They would come around to our feeder in Victoria, and I always thought they were too dramatic for B.C.
Lots of different birds here in Copan. One of the best spots is the sewage lagoon - egrets, kiskadees, herons.

Kim said...

I saw a pair of those Northern Flickers in my yard a couple of weeks ago. They had some preening and mating scenes, and then they ate the berries off the mountain ash one day. Gone now.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I did not even notice the flicker among all the robins for some time. Reading about the species made me realize my yard has matured into perfect habitat for them. Long may they return. The robins return each year for the ash berries, which they finished today.

uniplmr1 said...

I don't think we get Flickers around here but I'll check. We got hawks that are raising up a family,a bunch of hummingbirds. The sparrows get a fine mesh sack the fat Robin who rules the yard can't figure out. The sparrows wait for him to go up front then they come hang on the bag and eat right through the mesh. The fat Robin rules the yard. He's the bird boss. There's a big woodpecker who ignores him and vice versa. We tried the old "scatter the wildflower seeds, see what happens" routine. The fucking robin got them all. I made a bird bath. It's his. We got goats to eat all the blackberry bushes and poison oak. He tails them and gets the ground they just cleared. He has no friends. He's so mean no one likes him. If he could get along with the other birds, maybe they could knock off the worm farm, at least get the lid off. Instead, he gets goat shit. There is a lesson in there somewhere. The hummingbirds buzz him if he goes over the line and gets close to a feeder, so that's good. We named him Joe, after Stalin. We really like the birds. They can hang out over here as long as they want.