Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Convergence of Cardinals

Three weeks ago my husband heard a tap against the tall tower window at the front of the house. Tap, tap, and tap again and again. The source of the continual tapping was two cardinals intent on reaching something in the window. They started flying at our window at first light and continued until dusk. They took turns flying from their perch in the crab apple tree outside the window, up to the glass, fluttering their wings and tapping the pane with their feet, as through trying to land on the reflected branch.
They drove Martin Marmalade crazy. He sat on the second floor landing and meowed at them for the first day. He ignored them after that, recognizing that he couldn’t reach them and accepting the tapping as ‘white noise’ in a cat’s life.
My husband, not so much. His first attempt to dissuade them from pursuing the new desirable but elusive perch fell short of his intended result. He used our telescoping dust mop, the head being long and blue like Marge Simpson’s hairdo. He carefully placed the handle across the ceiling light fixture and leaned the mop end against the window.
Imagine the joy the cardinals felt when they spotted that fabulous nest – theirs for the taking! The assault against the glass increased, both birds stepping up the tapping. After a few days, we noticed only the male would return to tap against the glass. We thought the female wised up, or maybe she was on a nest in a real tree, but what of the insistent male? We surmised it had become personal and a guy thing with the bird.             

My husband, understanding the challenge, but wanting the tapping to cease, fought back with a guy thing of his own.  If you can’t make out what is at the top of the pole, it’s a coat hanger with a series of his old ties knotted at intervals to scare off the cardinal. And so, the trident made from old, out-dated, ugly ties, did the trick and frightened the feisty cardinal. We waited a day then removed the pole. The next day at first light he returned, tapping with renewed vigor since his feet and beak had rested a day. Or maybe he sent in a ringer who thought messing with us would be a lark. So the pole is back and keeping our red feathered friend at bay.  But I ask you, who is the real winner? I think the cardinal is sitting pretty somewhere, laughing his little beak off at our window display, tweeting, “Gotcha’!”

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