Wings in the Window

A couple of evenings this week, Adrian and I were startled after dinner by a loud pong and then a fluttering at one of our windows. Upon looking up, we discovered it was a bird, clinging to the screen with its little claws. At first we thought it had accidentally flown into the window and gotten stuck. So the first time it happened, I jumped up, ready to run outside and free it (saving both the bird and our screen, I hoped). But the bird flew right off.

Moments later, it happened again: the bird flew onto the screen, stayed there, flapping, for several seconds, and then disappeared into the nearby lilac bush. This carried on for two or three nights.

This was a bit of a head-scratcher. It wasn’t any kind of bird behavior either of us were familiar with. But when we got up close to the window we noticed the dozens of moths and bugs that were congregating on the screen, drawn by the light of a table lamp just inside.

And then it dawned on Adrian. We’d been away for the weekend and he had left the lamp on because we’ve had some recent burglaries in the neighborhood. So, while the lamp was on all night and we weren’t around, this entrepreneurial bird must have taken advantage of the feeding frenzy. Hopping onto the screen, grabbing a few bugs, and then retreating to the safety of shrubbery. Our return clearly flustered the creature, who has declined to return to the scene the last couple of evenings. Better for the screen, no doubt, but a small disappointment to Adrian and me; we kind of liked our avian visitor.

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4 Responses to Wings in the Window

  1. Karl says:

    I don’t like that explanation. I’d move, Jane, while you can. There’s more coming. Alfred Hitchcock knew.

  2. Deb says:

    Did you identify the bird? Probably an Eastern Phoebe…and if you are worried about Alfred Hitchcock, just wait…if there is another Starling gathering. We might have missed it, but they gather in the treeline across from you, between us and the Carters, and then fly all at once, thousands of them , across our field. We were home only once or twice when this happened, so don’t know if it is an annual thing, but we stood on our back deck and watched in amazement.

    • Oh, I’d love to see the starling migration. I may just camp out in the front yard for the next several weeks in hopes of seeing the flock swoop in and out.

      What makes you think it’s an eastern phoebe? Is that typical behavior from them? We didn’t get a good look at its patterns–all we could see was its belly, but it certainly could have been a phoebe!

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