The Birds & The Trees

Sunset from my Window

by EKSwitaj on Flickr

When I was flat-hunting last summer, I fell in love with the apartment where I write this now because of the view. While washing my dishes or waiting anxiously for the kettle to boil so I can make another French press full of coffee (I’ll let you guess which one of these I do more often), I can see rooftops and green hills beyond them—except at night when city and suburban lights become the highlight. From my desk, in my front room, I can watch the sunset beyond a stone church steeple and, yes, more green hills.

Collared Doves in snowy branches

by DH Wright on Flickr

What I didn’t expect was the way the slender trees that line this block of brick row houses draw birds to them. Every day, they break their flights in the branches: for most, the trees here serve only as a place to rest and sing a bit or find a tasty insect.

This past spring, a pair of collared doves set up a nest, but they abandoned it before even laying any eggs. Maybe the streetlights got to them, or they wisely left before the most common avian visitor to the trees could prey on their young.

The magpie

by Steve-h on Flickr

Magpies, with patches of shimmering blue on their wings, love this block. Usually, I hear them before I see them. They declare whatever it is they have to declare, and I look up from the screen to see them preening in the trees or, on occasion, on my window sill. The magpies are the only birds with the courage to get that close.

Because of the reputed intelligence of magpies, I sometimes ask them for their opinion on my thesis. I try not to take it too personally when their calls sound like laughter.

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