One Spring morning, (2018?) with coffee in the living room facing the garden, there came are sounding !THRUMP! smack in the middle of the 40 X 40 inch window that opens onto a garden area. Startled, I put down my cup to investigate, expecting to see a dead or quivering bird on the ground below, but No! He’d already swooped back to the stump, gearing up for a second “attack!” And … !THRUMP! … there it was!
I ran for the camera. I won’t prolong a description of the ensuing episode of which there were 10 or 12 more THRUMP!ings! but with no apparent damage to attacker or target. They came in mechanized succession, one after another, as he took aim, zoomed from the stump, threw himself against the window, dropped to the ground, then swooped back to the stump for barely two seconds, before repeating the maneuver, (while I shoved furniture about looking for an angle from which to get his photo in 14 or so exposures till I ran out of film.)
What was going on here? I knew and understood how large expanses of glass can confuse flying birds, but this guy wasn’t confused. He was determined, if not obsessed! Not only did he survive the attacks, he showed nary a splintered beak nor ruffled feather!
THEN … It seemed a routine take-off, but … ! As if realizing, at the last nanosecond … “OOOPS! CAN’T GO THERE!” he switched maneuvers, mid air, mind you, slammed on his brakes with full wing span exposing brilliant red breast, and shot skyward out of sight!!! (as per fighter planes in old war movies!) Ah! thought the teacher in me, He’s learning!
He was back next morning, but only to hop back and forth, head high, chest out, on the window sill as if showing off … as if visiting the place where he learned the difference between ‘space’ and ‘glass’. Good chance for a photo, but I’d used up all my film. I haven’t seen him since.
If there’s an ornithologist in your circle, feel free to give him/her my number.