Posts Tagged ‘kookaburra’

The Peaceful Dove

August 27, 2008

We’ve got them. Peaceful doves. We’ve got them nesting in the garden. Two pairs in two trees. To be more accurate they are not in our garden but over our back fence. But we claim them as our own, to the extent that anyone can claim a wild bird.

They’re not peaceful, you know. They are fiercely protective of their nest, wonderfully fiercely. They perch there on the roof guttering above their nests and keep watch. They attack and attack and attack until any other bird goes looking elsewhere for territory or for a nesting materials or for food or simply for company.

I’d been wondering what happened to the kookaburras. Perhaps they’ve been ‘peaced off’.

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The early bird?

August 5, 2008

More on kookaburras.

They are getting up earlier than me. For the last couple of days I’ve made it to the kitchen to set up for breakfast, opened the curtains of the bay window, and there they are. Already eating.

I don’t really mind them starting before us. I just wonder why they have to respond so quickly to the earlier sunrise. My alarm clock doesn’t. And it’s not as if the worms are going to go anywhere.

Today they not only got an early start, but they got an early finish as well. Off they went as we sat down in the window. And then along came a peewee.

He just walked around the yard picking worms from the grass as if they were scattered quite deliberately for him. He got more than the kookaburras normally do. And that is what put my mind to work on the old proverb. You see, today it was not the early bird after all. It was the one who got a good night’s sleep and wasn’t going to be rushed into the new day just because of the way the earth tilts or spins around the sun or whatever it is that makes the sun creep over the horizon just a little bit earlier each day at this time of year.

I love it when the wisdom of the ages is put to flight like that. Matter of fact, I might even set the alarm clock ten minutes later tonight and get a little bit more sleep.

It’s not as if the world is short of worms.

Revisiting David Attenborough

August 4, 2008

We like nature programs on TV. Mostly. They’ve changed over the years. The photography is better, much better. The scenery is breathtaking. The animals are intensely riveting. But there’s more eating.

Noticed that? TV animals eat more than they used to.  Not only that, but they eat at meal times. Our meal times. In our house.

Seems that every time we consent to turn on the TV at dinner time David Attenborough has a wild tiger in his sights. And the tiger has another smaller animal in his sights. And we sit there with our macaroni cheese while the tiger pulls away the haunch of some poor antelope and David Attenborough thinks we need a close-up of the blood covered face of this most wonderful of animals and of the still quivering flesh of its prey.

Our new home has the dining table at the other end of the house from the TV. There’s that problem solved. Except at breakfast.

At breakfast we sit facing out the bay window into the back garden. We are visited each morning by a pair of kookaburras. They are magnificent birds with charisma and personality. They think they own the place, and considering that the dog moved out with the previous owners, I guess they now do.

They sit on the clothesline, watching our grass grow. And just as we are about to take a spoonful of meusli or a sip of tea (Twinings Earl Grey) one of them flies down and pulls a worm from hiding – and eats it. David Attenborough lives I tell you. At least there’s no quivering flesh of antelope.

The kookaburras look in our window as much as at the grass. And one of them has developed a bit of territoriality. When it’s time to go he flies directly towards us, turning about a foot from the window and zooming away past our line of vision. It’s a wonderful sight as his wings almost brush the glass.

I don’t think he likes us watching him while he eats.