Another too close bird encounter

Dear President Trump,

Since Thursday I’ve witnessed three different, very intense animal interactions that looked to me to be fights, and today was almost in the middle of one of them. The first was Thursday morning on my run when two squirrels furiously chased one another up and down a pine tree. Maybe they were playing tag, but the intensity of the scrabbling and their very loud vocalizations sure sounded angry.

Later that morning on my way to the gallery downtown I passed an alley. There was significant police presence on the adjacent sidewalk, but it couldn’t compete for attention with the incredibly loud, raucous crow screeching going on just inside the alley. I gave both the police and the crows wide berth, but was still close enough to see that one crow had trapped the other on its back and they were both screaming, clawing, and pecking with wings flapping frantically. It was really an awful scene. It occurs to me that they might have been having sex, but I just checked on the timing since it seems kind of late in the season and it is; most crows were incubating eggs in April so it likely was a fight.

The third incident happened this morning and it was on the same block as Thursday’s angry squirrels, but this time it was angry robins. I heard them before I saw them and then two of them, one right after the other, shot in front of me going left to right. It startled me but that wasn’t nearly as bad as when they suddenly turned so that the pursuer became the pursued and their line of flight was directly into me. Just as I ducked into a protective crouch, I saw the belly, feet, and wide-open wings of the closest bird about a foot away from me as it threw on its breaks to avoid hitting me. Somehow it did avoid hitting me and I went on, but geez Louise it was scary!

Hopefully this’ll be the last close encounter with an animal fight (or whatever was going on between those animal duos) for a while, and I certainly hope it’s the last time (ever) that I am almost accidentally physically involved in such a thing. The one positive of the near miss with the robin is that I now know my self-preservation instinct is totally intact; some part of my brain calculated and realized I couldn’t move fast enough to get out of their path and I automatically covered my head and rolled my upper body into a crouch so that my right shoulder and back was facing them and would have borne the brunt of any impact had the first bird not been able to stop in time. Come to think of it, this is probably why my right scapula is now seizing up and hurting like crazy. But it could have been worse, much worse. Yay for bird breaks!

May we be safe from birds, and equally importantly, may birds be safe from us.
May we be happy when our reflexes work when we need them to.
May we take care so the birds and squirrels (etc.) can be healthy and strong.
May we step back and make peace with the other animals with whom we share the planet.

Tracy Simpson

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