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Bird On A Wire

by Michael Daniel

Another baby.....
I sat in my back yard under the forty year old sycamore tree
watching the wildlife come and go. A lone desert tortoise, an occasional squirrel, butterflies and all manner of crawlies, scurrying here and there in great anticipation of the birth of Spring and the provision of Summer. I have become increasingly fond of birds in the last couple of years and have very much appreciated their company as I feed them each afternoon. I have a particular affection for the four different species of dove that gather to delight in the black oil sunflower seeds, milo, corn and other grains I scatter about for them.

Inca Doves at the Fort Worth ZooMourning Dove, White Winged Dove, tiny Inca Dove, all vying for their share of the delectables along with Sparrows, Blue Jays, Cardinals and dozens of other species. The ones that seem to be the most aggressive and stubborn, however, are the Eurasian Collared Doves. It's a curiosity that they will tolerate dining with the other species, but on occasion will utter a distinctive growl and chase away their own kind. You'd almost think they were Christians.

Well, this afternoon I was taken aback by the obstinacy of one
unyielding Collared Dove and a very unstable highline wire.
Collard dove in Clematis
Gazing skyward I
observed an electrical electrical line that hadn't been strung nearly as taught as the others and lo and behold THIS was the line that Mr. Collared Dove happened to light upon. The moment his small talons gripped the wire the circus show commenced. The line swung to and fro and bounced up and down and Mr. Dove became the daring young bird on the flying trapeze. He wildly flapped his wings in an attempt to stabilize himself and the more he flapped the more drastic the situation became, but would Mr. Dove relent? . . . he would not!

Mr. Stubborn, I mean Mr. Dove, wasn't about to let his chosen perch get the best of him. Tighter and tighter his claws clutched the wire as he fearlessly (ha) flailed in feeble attempt to secure his own stronghold and balance himself. The highline became a boinging, bouncing, jumping, jerking rough riding roost, The more Mr. Dove wriggled and wiggled, the more the line jiggled and the more I watched the more I giggled. Yes the more he flounced and flapped the more the line flipped and flopped and finally Mr. Dove had had more than enough and just let go. He hit the ground with a plop and laid there dazed, dizzy, desperate and confused, all because he just wouldn't be still.

It was quite a frightening ordeal but when Mr. Dove regained equilibrium and his senses returned he remembered why he had come . . . he was hungry.