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Old 2018-12-15, 18:36   #1
Dr Sardonicus
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Feb 2017

3·1,447 Posts
Default Our fine fried feathers

I wish to create a thread devoted to observations, anecdotes and stories about birds. I'm not looking for mythology, folklore, or "bird jokes" here. If someone has a passion for these, perhaps sub-threads could be created.

Here is an example.

Once upon a time, long long ago, I lived in an apartment complex with rudimentary car ports -- posts with corrugated metal panels along the top half of three sides, and a slant of corrugated metal on top for a roof of sorts. And in some of the car ports, where the back panel met the roof on the inside, barn swallows had taken up residence.

Barn swallows are great all-around fliers. They feed mainly on insects, which their flying ability lets them catch on the wing. And they defend their nests against anything they see as a threat. They often do this by "tag-teaming" the encroaching trespasser. I witnessed an occurrence of this behavior which made a lasting impression on me -- as well, I am sure, as it did on the hapless trespasser.

One fine morning, as I strolled through the parking lot, I saw two barn swallows zooming low near a dumpster from different directions, coming almost to the ground. And on the ground, where their flight paths had converged, was a cat.

I have never, before or since, seen a cat in such a state. Cats are well-known for being able to escape just about any predicament, but this cat literally did not know which way to turn! It was banjo-eyed, panic-stricken, and wildly looking in all directions. And then, the barn swallows attacked again. One flew straight at its face. The cat clawed at the attacker. But while cats are very quick, the barn swallow was quicker. It easily avoided the cat's claws. Meanwhile, a second barn swallow attacked from the rear, giving the cat a peck near its tail. The cat wheeled around, but, fast as it was, it wasn't anywhere near fast enough. I left. When I returned later, the cat was gone. Apparently the barn swallows had eventually relented. But I'm sure that the cat had been taught a lesson it was not going to forget any time soon.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2020-10-24 at 18:50
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