Monday, October 18, 2010

california hitchcock

One of the great things about living in the suburbs of California is that I can have an entire house with lots of windows, where every room is directly under the roof, with lots of skylights to let in the Californian sun or to let me hear the winter rains.

The downside is that something about this roof seems to attract a flock of birds, whose main traits are that they are loud, unintelligent, and enjoy early mornings.

They gather on the roof of my house at 7 or 8 in the morning, sometimes two or three at a time, but sometimes (like this morning) in a flock of ten or twenty. They thud onto the roof, hop around, squawk loudly at each other, and then proceed to peck viciously at anything and nothing. In this picture, you can see three of them pecking at a rather nondescript piece of wood. Others were frantically tapping on shingles or panes of glass. On another occasion, two of them squabbled loudly over a Bic lighter that they had found and somehow managed to drop onto the roof.

Waving at them in a threatening manner does nothing. Tapping back at them with a pole does nothing. Holding my dog up so that they can see him through the glass (in case he's more frightening than I am) does nothing. They continue scrabbling, jumping, cawing, and tapping until, on some unknown cue about ten or fifteen minutes later, they all take off and go elsewhere.

It's like the Hitchcock flick, except that the birds just try to annoy you to death. I've never seen such dumb birds before, and I don't know if it's because I haven't met many birds, or if it's because Californian birds are just like that.

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