Doink, Doink — Bye Bye Birdie

sparrow_hawkIt’s nice living in the country. I appreciate the scene, the aroma, the wildlife and the sounds. I know you’re aware birds sing and wind whistles, but did you know turkeys warble? Did you know deer huff? Did you know birds doink? What is doink you ask? It’s the sound a bird makes when he sees blue sky and freedom, but slams abruptly into a double-pane, tempered-glass window. Today I heard the largest echoing doink I’ve ever heard. It was a tough day to be a bird.

This doink was not the first doink I’ve heard. In fact, it was probably the 32nd, but who’s counting. Every doink before began with a sound followed by a dazed bird who eventually regained consciousness and flew away. What made this doink memorable and doubly tragic is it maimed not one bird, but two — the prey (sparrow) and the predator (sparrow hawk) took one on the beak.

I hate to reenact the event, but you can imagine these birds in hostile pursuit dipping and diving through trees, ending abruptly with one against glass (doink) and the second smashing the first into the glass (smush-doink). In fact, from examining the carnage, the predator appeared to get the worst of it. The prey seemed undamaged (except that it was dead). It resembled a stuffed bird sitting gently on a perch. However, the predator was badly mangled — wings sprawled, feet protruding at odd angles and its head inverted in it’s belly. From the looks of it, I don’t think either had time to think about what happened. The prey probably thought it had been caught. The predator probably thought it needed an antacid.

Before moving here in this window-happy house, I never realized how many birds doink. It makes one wonder about installing LEED-qualifying and bird-friendly glass to reduce doinks and save a few birds.