The other day we heard this big bang against one of our windows. We both guessed what it was—another bird collision. A couple of years ago, one crashed into a window, got knocked out, lay on its side, and puffed really hard for a half hour or so.
Then it flew away.
This bird was not so lucky. It was hard to identify until we looked at the large flock of similar looking birds in the backyard trees. It was one of a large gathering of juvenile Cedar Waxwings. They didn’t have the red wingtips but they had sporty yellow tail feather tips and they had typical masks around their eyes.
Sometimes birds attack their reflections in windows. Several species do that but this one was not on the list. We think it was just an accident.
They were probably after the winterberry shrubs. There are a lot of articles on the web about birds getting drunk from eating fermented berries. I’m not sure how anyone knows, but some writers say it can cause birds to crash into windows. Have the birds undergone some kind of field sobriety test (“Okay buster, stand on one leg, and touch your beak with your wings.”)?
Cedar Waxwings are very gregarious, raucous, and rowdy birds who eat berries with gusto. The adults look a little like clownish (and maybe drunken) bandits.
We planted an Amaryllis in a pot to celebrate the bird’s life. I guess Amaryllis bulbs can sprout new blooms for several years, almost like being reborn many times.
A little story from Greek mythology says that a maiden named Amaryllis had a monster crush on a shepherd named Alteo, a first-class heel who ignored her but loved flowers. She tried stabbing herself in the heart every day with a golden arrow for thirty days but at first that only led to a lot of trips to the local emergency room. But on the thirtieth day, a gorgeous flower grew from her blood. That’s the only thing that got Alteo’s attention; can you believe that jerk? They got married and honey-mooned at Niagara where they both got smashed on fermented winterberries, jumped out of the Maid of the Mist boat, crashed into a rainbow which turned out to be a wormhole portal to another galaxy where they finally sobered up by eating beef jerky from Sasquatch, who is an interdimensional creature as everyone knows.
The moral of the story is you should close your window shades more often, which might deter some birds from crashing into your windows—unless they’re really drunk.