Pointed wings, sharp angles
Monday April 05th 2010, 9:38 pm
Filed under: Wildlife

Thing the first: I walked into the Bird Center in Los Gatos for more seed, having been going through it very fast lately–just as someone was washing a caged Brome Squirrel Buster feeder identical to mine.

We talked.  She explained; I asked; she showed. This this and this, all three, have to be just so.  Make sure this covers this wire and that and that are lined up.  Lifetime warranty says it works, period.  My feeder shouldn’t be only closing down for the bigger gray squirrels, and it shouldn’t be staying closed till I get to it to open it up again, nor should the small squirrels be able to hang down and frantically swish half the contents out onto the ground with their paws.  This part should be like this, and we have spare parts if it isn’t.  Go check.

A few seconds with seed spilling over me and it was all solved.   Boy, that was easy! Once I knew.  Sproingy sproing!  I must have misaligned the top tab from the groove when I cleaned it.  Now, I don’t at all mind the squirrels getting a bite; I find them inquisitive and curious and highly entertaining. But it’s got to be on my terms.

Thing the second:  (squirrels, you might want to cover your ears for this one.) I had a second errand to run.  I found myself stopped at a long red light in the late afternoon a block from where, last summer, I’d seen a peregrine falcon overhead as I’d come out of my pre-op appointment.  The sight of it had changed everything for me that day.

My wish was its command: looking up, I suddenly saw a very wide and familiar set of wings doing a gentle swoop across the road overhead, low enough down that at first I thought, surely, it couldn’t be…  It flew from near the large billboard trumpeting the Stanford University basketball season on the right, then, after a casual flap, landed on the topmost part of the highest tree to the left, swaying slightly at first, surveying our cross-town rival high school’s campus.

Then it lazily stretched its wings out just so like a teenage athlete surveying his pecs:  see me? See those angles on those wings?  Are they not just the most raptor-ous things you ever saw?

It spoke in pigeoned English but straight to my heart. Wow. I so much love that we have peregrine falcons nesting in our town.

Just for fun, if you go here, check out the two maps showing the difference in migration routes between them and Swainson’s hawks: it makes clear how the word “peregrination” came to be: they just mosey on everywhere and anywhere they feel like, no distance too short nor too long.

Including from one side of El Camino Real to the other at the right moment to brighten a random Monday afternoon.  Glorious.

8 Comments so far
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I just came in from filling our feeder, identical to yours, where I had the thought that it sure needed a washing. Instead of thinking of that coincidence as weird, I’ll think of it as a nice way to start the day – connected to you via dirty bird feeders!

Comment by twinsetellen 04.06.10 @ 5:39 am

Glad the tab is back where it belongs and you got to see that long wingspan! The little things really do make life worth living.

Comment by Channon 04.06.10 @ 7:58 am

Raptors make me smile. They inspire awe and joy… and I’m terribly jealous of their hollow bones.

Comment by GeekKnitter 04.06.10 @ 8:32 am

Ah, the wonders of technology — when one knows how to use it.

Now, come on! The peregrine falcon spoke to you in PIGEON English?

Humor —

No matter how much I care, some people are just jackasses.

Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

Comment by Don Meyer 04.06.10 @ 9:24 am

Not quite, Don; pigeoned English–it looked well fed to me!

Comment by AlisonH 04.06.10 @ 9:50 am

I love it when I meet the person who has just the piece of information I need to make everything fall into place. A peregrine sighting is an added benefit 🙂

Comment by Jocelyn 04.06.10 @ 12:30 pm

Where are there peregrines nesting in PA? Aside from your sighting last year, I haven’t heard a thing about it. I’m in Midtown, so not far (I think) from you, and would love to know which direction to look in hopes of an eventual sighting!



Comment by Jan Hughes 04.06.10 @ 4:46 pm

this almost sounds like a light bulb joke – how many people does it take to figure out a bird feeder?
four people or one squirrel….

Comment by Holly 04.07.10 @ 7:12 am

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