I want to say from the get-go that this is not about the alt-rock band.
Back in the day, when I was growing up in Carroll Gardens, we had birds, of course. Plenty of pigeons, for sure, and cute little sparrows. Now that I have a backyard, I’ve become more observant of our feathered friends. In the last several years, I’ve noticed cardinals, blue jays, and, last summer, orange-breasted orioles, all those colorful, major league baseball types of birds. Pretty starlings splash in my neighbor’s birdbath regularly. This year, however, there is a new type of bird that has moved into my corner of the neighborhood.
A few weeks ago, I was walking up my block and I was startled when a piece of tree bark fell on me. I became even more startled when I looked up. Directly above my head was the hugest bird I have ever seen in person – a very big, black crow. I immediately picked up my pace. Crows in Carroll Gardens??!!
Since that first sighting, I now see (and hear) them all the time. Sitting out back on Mother’s Day, my family spotted one ominously perched on the rooftop across the way. Last week, as I was eating my cornflakes, they were causing such a ruckus that I had to go outside to investigate. There were five or six of them flying around and cawing like crazy like a scene out of The Birds. They were back that evening when I was barbecuing some chicken. Their hovering and swooping made me feel so nervous that I kept dashing inside, which resulted in some rather burnt chicken.
Now, I don’t mind some chirping in the wee hours of the morning, before the sun comes up. I really don’t know why birds are so chatty so early in the day and that chirping is a kind of pre-alarm clock for me. But scary birds that look big enough to carry my pleasingly plump cat away make me a little uneasy. I wonder what they are doing here and what all their fussing is about. I would much prefer some of those bright green parrots that have nested in the front gates of .
I’ve also noticed an inordinate amount of bird droppings; our front walk looks like target practice. I guess that’s to be expected with such large birds. No sooner do we hose it away then we have to do it again.
I have nothing against nature and I enjoy a trip to the country now and then but I’m really a city girl at heart. I’ve been on my guard taking the garbage out after dark ever since my son rushed in, white as a ghost, after encountering a possum on our stoop one night. And now I’m feeling like I have to take cover whenever I venture outside my own house. It’s getting to be a regular Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom around here.