A Dark-eyed Junco is Trying to Kill My Car
and my house, whichever dies first.
The Magnificent Obsession of Small Birds
I don't know what either of them did to incite such rage. My car is a sedate, though somewhat crumpled, 1994 Mercury Sable that has seen better days. My house is a baby, relatively speaking, having gotten it's construction final (house mitzvah?) only two years ago.
My car is a pale-metallic blue, my house, moss-green; the bird, a nondescript brownish-gray with a cap of dark feathers. Perhaps it is jealousy? He keeps on trying to peck out their eyes.
Dark-eyed Junco strategizing imminent skirmish
(Beauty shot supplied by junco publicist. Copyright © L. Selman)
The eyes of my house are the large double sliding-doors
which face the stream.
(Yes, that is a pretty wrought-iron gate.)
The eyes of my car are its side-view mirrors.
Left Eye Right Eye
(Complete with the inevitable plopshed of war)
These attacks have been going on for at least two weeks.
Having repeatedly tortured myself by reading Daphne du Maurier's short story “The Birds” each childhood-summer in Michigan, and more recently (though millennia ago in dog's years) eaten popcorn during the unfortunately California-ized, though skillfully cinematized version of same by Alfred Hitchcock, I was not completely unprepared for such behavior. I just didn't expect it to be so singularly (or to be more precise, dually) manifested. My husband's Acura remains unscathed, as do the two sheds on the property.
No, this is a specialized vendetta, not a generalized blood feud. This is one small bird against car and house in its purest form.
Junco, being egged on by gang member. The charge commences.
So far, they have not returned fire - my auto and dwelling place - meekly accepting the daily pounding, enduring the accumulating mounds of bird poop, and beak slashes. But I don't believe they will hold back much longer.
If this was a prize fight the stats might go something like this:
Junco (attributes complements of the incredibly user-friendly and informative whatbird.com)
- The Dark-eyed Junco was the most common feeder bird in North America during the 1996-1997 Project FeederWatch season.
- They mainly eat insects and seeds. However, they will sometimes eat their own droppings. (figures)
- A flash of white tail feathers serves as an alarm to other members of the flock.
- A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.
- Energy efficient,
- Made of Structural Insulated Panels
- Radiant Floors
- Underwater mortgage
- Partially amputated right-front bumper
- Transplanted roof rack
- Non-functioning 1st gear
- CD Player (after-market)
You would think it would be a no-contest, but then again, though the house is much bigger, it doesn't move very quickly, and the car is useless without its manager (me). Plus, there is always the psych-factor when you know the guy you are going up against eats his own feces, and is in a gang named after an argument.
Photos of late afternoon skirmish
by embedded journalist (also me).
What the final outcome will be, only time will tell. Never-the-less, this can't go on forever.
Watch out, stupid Junco, even houses and cars have limits.