I was recently leaving a client’s office when I was dive-bombed by a flock of cliff swallows. Unlike the Bat Incident (Facebook friends may remember: in late July a flocklet of bats chased me to my car as I headed to a comedy show), this time I had my camera with me.
These are three of the six birds which herded me back to my car. They did this by peeping in a register that made me feel as if shards of glass were being driven into my ear and at a volume that was like a cannon filled with angry bird noises going off right next to me; and by flying straight up into the air for 20 feet or so in order to build up maximum velocity as they dove directly toward my face.
Of course I was curious.
Unlike bats, birds usually only swarm around a larger animal to chase that animal away from a nest.
Here it is:
Closer inspection revealed a pissed off mama bird.
This bird built her nest on a wasps’ nest, right next to two other wasps’ nests. I don’t scare easily, but Mama Bird won the Gangster Award for the day.
I got out of there fast…
…but not before the equally pissed off papa bird came back.
A spooky sentinel swallow gave me the stink-eye as I walked away:
…and yes: I walked. I did not cringe toward my car, bowing and scraping like a proto-human encountering a giant Space Slab.
These totally unrelated sparrows spent the whole time hanging out on a nearby dumpster. I’m pretty sure they were laughing at me.
The entire incident reminded me of a comic I wrote a couple of years ago: Birds I Hate. It’s about birds, me, and (spoiler alert) hostile emotion. This is a recurring theme for me, as birds and I don’t really get along.
I have a nap to take and a video to film, but I will dig the comic out, scan it, and upload it for your amusement by the end of the week. This I vow.