Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Simple Life — of tales and tails

The Simple Life
A life of freedom or pigeon pie?

A chubby woodpigeon (ring dove) sits on a nest in a fir tree just 15’ from our front door. It looks so peaceful up there surrounded by shrubs bearing blossom. We see the couple plodding around the garden — dinosaurs compared with the blackbirds, finches, tits, sparrows and tiny wrens (etc) that visit our feeding station and peck around the garden. Even larger than the lovely white and mottled pigeons that visit us throughout the year.
They sit in turn, quiet and undisturbed, oblivious to our prying eyes as we try to photograph them. Their nest looks flat and flimsy and we wonder how on earth they will be able to keep their young on it once the eggs hatch. (Likely just one or two, as they continue to breed throughout the season.)
What do they think as they sit there? No worries for them about finance and elections, buying houses and furniture. No concerns about schools for their children, what to wear and what meals are best for them. No mortgage, no bills, no cars or holidays. Just doing what comes naturally.
But we are concerned for them! We just hope the egg or eggs don’t roll out of the nest. We hope the fledglings when born won’t get taken off by crows or cats. We want them to keep well and enjoy life. Why? Birds, not just pigeons, die every day. They fly into the window and break their necks, they get taken off by birds of prey and squirrels raid their nests. But this is nature and animals are programmed for survival. What humans do to one another goes beyond survival — need I say more?

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