L’oiseau. Ngā pātai.

Bonjour. Ko wai tō ingoa?
Tēnā koe. Je m’appelle Manu. Comment tu t’appelle ?
Ko Bewilderbirdee taku ingoa. Kei te pēhea koe?
Très bien, engari kei te hiamimi ahau, et toi ?
Çe va. Merci.
E hara i te mea he aha. Je ne suis pas fort, engari J’aime manger les chattes, e wāhine mā.
Auē! E hika! Hei te wā titoki e hoa.
Oui, oui. À bientôt. I put my head on backwards to sleep. Kua kore he tangata inaianei. Kei hea tōku wai?


(C) Grumpy Axolotl

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The most Exciting Thing all Week

So I’ve been looking out my window. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a pervert; lots of people look out of windows. Don’t you judge me! It’s interesting what we focus on. Maybe it’s a case of small things amusing small minds. In this instance I’m looking at a small bird: An Eurasian blackbird, to be precise. And this particular specimen is stone-cold fucking dead. Bird has been dead for 2 weeks now. In that time, Bird has undergone a significant transformation, but let us back up a step. <rewind>

The first week was dead boring. A biologist would tell you that there was a lot going on under the hood – so to speak, but from my perspective the bird simply flopped around a bit as the wind dictated. So anyway, Bird looked just as birds do (sans animation) for about a week. 

In the 2nd week, the maggots became visible. Masticating meat-house maggots, merrily munching away. I love how nature cleans up after itself. I know maggots aren’t everyone’s idea of a good time, and I wouldn’t invite them in for tea and scones but the cycle of life is an endless wonder. Yesterday the carcass collapsed in the rain. It looks a bit disgusting but this is where the real fun starts. 

There exists a sparrow (one of millions) that is visiting dead-bird, and eating the maggots that are eating aforementioned dead-bird. Bird eats maggot eats bird. Different species of bird, but it’s almost cannibalism-by-proxy. The sparrow works tirelessly, returning every few minutes to gobble more maggots, no doubt whisking the little wrigglers back to the nest to feed the next generation of hungry beaks. 

The story ends there, but this whole scenario reminds me how simple it is.


(C) Grumpy Axolotl

Chaffinch

This chaffinch is not the same as the others; It’s a friendly little fella; perching on the edge of my picnic table in patient expectation. Birds in public parks are often ‘friendly’ as they have learned that, wherever humans go, food will surely follow. The artful arrangement of blue-gray and rusty-brown-ochre hues in this bird’s war-paint indicates it’s the male of the species. The most colourful birds of a feather are usually male. Hard-luck ladies; better luck next evolution.

Toss the bread!

The chaffinches waste no time snapping up the scattered crumbs of golden sourdough with their greedy little beaks. In an acrobatic flurry of farts, belches, whistles and fluttering wings, they hasten back into the lemonwoods, before the summer-sun can scald the beaks off of their pretty little faces. The birds then burst into glorious song, reciting gruesome murder ballads as they plot the demise of countless flying insects in the hours of dusk to come.

Photo credit: Charlesjsharp • CC BY-SA 3.0