Taunt pis
Monday April 11th 2011, 11:27 pm
Filed under: Politics,Warm Hats Not Hot Heads,Wildlife

(Okay, Babelfish translates tant pis as “such an amount of worse” rather than “too bad for you.” Gotta love those transliterations.)

I hadn’t seen my hawks in days and wondered if they didn’t like that I’d changed the looks of a few things out there, like that slip’n’slide for the squirrels with the shiny reflections from the greased foil by the birdfeeder.

Today they made up for it: I saw the female twice, the male once. He flew to a few feet from the window and while gazing in steadily, leaned towards me as if to say hello. I loved it.

But his mate! She came in first, landing on the barbecue grill, and that same squirrel with the severe testosterone poisoning–‘terone ranger!–not a female squirrel defending her young but a male his territory, and I will mention that it was the same one that deliberately motioned threateningly at a hawk last week–at first as she flew in he started to run away, but then when she settled down on the arm of the grill he turned around midrun and audaciously came back to repeat that deliberate menacing act. Going so far as to put a paw on the bottom of the grill poised as if to leap up at her immediately above him.

Get lost, loser. She lifted off.

A little while later, her mate was doing his closeup for me on the wooden box. What a gorgeous bird. Ix-nay on the beef suet with peanuts here, Ma’am, but thanks for trying.

And not a squirrel to be seen. Even though he was the smaller of the two.

Then another hour or so later, the female flew in front of the patio again, abruptly blending into leaves and disappearing into the tree behind the grill. Wow, she’s good at this.

Guess who took offense at her invading his favorite tree?

I watched in disbelief as that little bushytail (he has distinctive markings) deliberately strode down the fenceline toward her like a cat about to pounce. And then he jumped at her! Not quite to her, but with the intent of scaring her off again like a sparrow. She again took off slowly and deliberately–I’ve seen her in a hurry and that wasn’t it–and whether she was responding to an innate instinct on the part of a bird, even a predator, to get away from something coming at her or what, I don’t know.

But wow, that squirrel’s got a Darwin wish. Coopers, looking at Sibley’s western birds guide, do indeed eat small mammals, not just birds.  He’s so got it coming.

On a side note.  The Washington Post reports on a professor who ran the recent press releases of the members of Congress through a computer to determine patterns, and what surprised him was this: 27% of everything they say is taunting. Not just chest-thumping aren’t I wonderful self-congratulations to their constituents, but actually taunting their opponents and not even pretending to try to work together to get things done in a way that acknowledges that other people have valid points of view too.

This is not the way to govern a diverse people well.

We voters should be watching them like a hawk.

I am proud to say that my Representative, Anna Eshoo, who thanked me warmly for her hat from the Warm Hats Not Hot Heads project for Congress, handled the latest quite respectfully, I feel, while explaining her point of view.  It can be done.

8 Comments so far
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One of your best play on words yet. Yes indeed, we should watch ’em like hawks.

Comment by Channon 04.12.11 @ 7:19 am

I got a thank you note from one of our Senators. Very impersonal and self aggrandizing. Nowhere did he mention that he would be willing to engage in civil discourse. No more than I expected.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 04.12.11 @ 8:23 am

Yikes! I hadn’t realized taunting is so prevalent. No wonder bullying is such a big issue in schools!

Carol in MA

Comment by Carol Telsey 04.12.11 @ 8:52 am

Maybe all legislators should be required to take courses in How to Govern, and Politeness 1A and B.

Comment by Don Meyer 04.12.11 @ 9:56 am

Well, there is a history of fist fights and even duelling in Congress, so verbal taunting could be construed as mild behavior compared to clocking some yahoo who desperately deserves it.

The grandstanding is insane, and it is a living example of squeaking wheels getting the grease. Only they don’t just squeak, dang it.

Comment by Patricia Day 04.12.11 @ 10:09 am

I wonder if your squirrel has a nest of young’uns to protect? Or perhaps is otherwise very motivated to make sure the female hawk doesn’t choose this yard for her nest. There might be something about the size difference or posturing between the two hawks that says the female is the one that needs to be run off.

Comment by Deb 04.12.11 @ 10:38 am

I say the female hawk is bidding her time, just waiting for her eggs to hatch when the little ones need fresh meat, that poor squirrel won’t know what hit him.Our neighbors are wondering why one of their drain spouts aren’t working, I’ve seen a squirrel on their roof stuffing things down it,sneaky little thing.

Comment by kristy phipps 04.12.11 @ 12:53 pm

I’m not sure which is more amazing – the natural world or the political world. I am sure which I’d prefer to observe!

Comment by twinsetellen 04.13.11 @ 10:11 pm

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