Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Plague of Stupid Birds


Our rental house has been invaded by a hoard of Stupid Birds. But I am sure hoard is not the right word. So I went looking. About.com has this extensive list for groups of birds:

Birds in general - A flock of birds, a dissimulation of birds, volery of birds
Bitterns - A siege of bitterns, a sedge of bitterns
Chickens - A peep of chickens
Choughs - A chattering of choughs
Coots - A cover of coots, a raft of coots
Cormorants - A flight of cormorants
Cranes - A sedge of cranes
Crows - A congress of crows, a murder of crows
Curlews - A herd of curlews
Doves - A dule of doves, a flight of doves, a dole of doves, a cote of coves, a piteousness of doves
Ducks - A paddling of ducks, a raft of ducks, a team of ducks, a dopping of ducks
Dunlin - A fling of dunlin
Eagles - A convocation of eagles
Eggs - A clutch of eggs
Falcons - A cast of falcons
Finches - A charm of finches, a trembling of finches
Flamingos - A flamboyance of flamingos
Geese - A gaggle of geese, a skein of geese
Goldfinches - A charm of goldfinches
Goshawks - A flight of goshawks
Grouse - A brace of grouse, a covey of grouse
Guillemots - A bazaar of guillemots
Gulls - A colony of gulls
Hawks - A cast of hawks, a kettle of hawks, a cast of hawks
Hens (chickens) - A brood of hens
Herons - A siege of herons
Hummingbirds - A charm of hummingbirds, a troubling of hummingbirds, a hover of hummingbird
Jays - A band of jays, party of jays
Kingfishers - A concentration of kingfishers
Lapwings - A deceit of lapwings
Larks - An exaltation of larks
Loons - A raft of loons
Magpies - A tiding of magpies
Mallards - A sord of mallards, a flush of mallards, a puddling of mallards
Nightingales - A watch of nightingales
Owls - A parliament of owls, a wisdom of owls
Parrots - A company of parrots
Partridges - A covey of partridges
Peacocks - An ostentation of peacocks, a muster of peacocks
Penguins - A colony of penguins, huddles of penguins, a pride of penguins
Pheasants - A bouquet of pheasants, a covey of pheasants, a nye of pheasants, a nide of pheasants, a nest of pheasants
Quail - A bevy of quail, a covey of quail
Pelicans - A squadron of pelicans
Plovers - A congregation of plovers, a wing of plovers, a leash of plovers
Ravens - A conspiracy of ravens, an unkindness of ravens, a constable of ravens
Rooks - A building of rooks, a parliament of rooks
Snipe - A walk of snipe, a wisp of snipe
Sparrows - A host of sparrows, a quarrel of sparrows
Starlings - A murmuration of starlings
Storks - A mustering of storks
Swallows - A flight of swallows
Swans - A ballet of swans, a bevy of swans, a herd of swans, a whiteness of swans
Teal - A spring of teal
Turtledoves - A pitying of turtledoves
Turkeys - A rafter of turkeys, a muster of turkeys
Waterfowl - A plump of waterfowl
Woodcock - A fall of Woodcock
Woodpeckers - A descent of woodpeckers
You'll notice Stupid Birds are not enumerated. But I could call them a Murder of Stupid Birds, since that is what I would like to do to them.

Our Stupid Birds cannot nest. They flap around, creating mess and nesting debris everywhere, but they never manage to put together a nest in which to deposit an egg. I enjoy watching birds nest, and last year when Doves (a Piteous of Doves) nested in my flowerpot, I was so pleased to watch the babies hatch and then take flight.

But these Stupid Non-nesting Birds perform their pointless maneuvers right above my hanging laundry. This has caused many loads of rewashing. Grrrr.

We continually marvel that there are so many of these flapping fiends, since you would think they would die out after one generation. But somehow they must procreate somewhere, because here they are. Unless, of course, they are a cloning experiment gone hideously wrong.

Now, I could look up the species of these tormentors in my Guide to West Indian Birds, but I will not honor them by calling them by a proper bird name.

Stupid Birds.

5 comments:

blueright said...

I am curious as to the species. If you don't want to call them by a proper name you could spell it backwards. Maybe they eat weevils. ;-)

Jen said...

OK, Blueright, I will whisper it:

(Lesser Antillean Bullfinch, Guadeloupe-Dominica Race)

blueright said...

Hi Jen

After seeing a picture of the bird - http://www.antiguanice.com/antigua_nature/antigua_lesser_antillean_bullfinch.htm
I immediately wondered if it was not nest building at all but instead feeding by cutting of the grass head, flying up to a perch,feeding then discarding the grass blade. I have seen the Jaco and Sisserou's discarded meals on the slopes of Morne Diablotin but I imagine small birds could do the same. I am sure this won't change your displeasure with the birds only offer a possible reason for their actions.

Minerva said...

Lo, aren't we cranky. But, impressively, in an intellectual way ;-)

Jen said...

Yep, we are cranky. The housekeeper quit, and these birds are almost as troublesome as the puppy!