Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Even birds grieve.

A few days ago I heard raucous Magpie voices echo and crash amongst themselves to such an extent my curiosity was piked. I ventured to the doorstep to survey the commotion and seeing the tree full of Magpies I decided to make use of the opportunity and snap a few images.
 There were Magpies on the ground, under the tree, bouncing from limb to limb and constantly flying in and out of the area. I am sure there were at least twenty total at a time. As I've been ill with laryngitis over the last week I did not venture out past the stoop to investigate.
The ruckus continued the following day and upon second look I noted that birds were returning over and over to mourn winged remains. For days Magpies returned, at first as groups then by the last day singly, verbally noisily crying while walking amid the feather strewn grass.

A few years ago in southern Alberta we came upon a couple hawks standing on the roadway. These hawks did not lift as our vehicle approached. We stopped to avoid hitting them and still they did not take to wing which I thought to be very strange behaviour indeed. Not until Gerald walked towards the Hawks did they lift off enabling us to realize the reason for their behaviour. They were mourning a juvenile Hawk, dead at the edge of the road. We feared the young hawk maybe had been struck by a vehicle and to avoid the others meeting the same fate the dead one was moved further from the road. That was my first instance of realizing that birds grieve a loss of family or community member just as we do. One can learn so much from nature, animals and birds. The more we as a society and individuals become cyber connected the more important it is to keep our feet and hearts connected to the earth, to good old fashioned dirt and the ways of the real world.

Hugs, they are for sharing!


Carol Blackburn said...

Mornin' Tess, great post. I've never seen a Magpie. They are quite pretty; sort of like black and white crows I guess. I just saw a hawk on the side of the road yesterday and it totally surprised me. When he lifted off there was nothing there and I wondered what he was doing. The wing span was a good yard wide at least. Have a great day.

tess stieben said...

hello Carol
Magpies are corvids, so you are right about being like crows, and like crows they are intelligent birds, though many people dislike them as they are an aggressive bird that will pick other birds babies out of the nest.