Birds and Evenings

I don't wake up early. That's never been me. At least, never consistently.

But I am an evening guy. I work well in evenings. I love being out in evenings too. And if I hear a few birds call out. Hey! Time to whip out the binocular, and the Merlin or BirdNet app and off I am. Trying to see if I can see or hear a new bird. A new visitor, if I am at home. Or to figure out the bird-scape, if I am in a new place.

I don't know why I get pulled towards birds. It's not quite the same with me for insects, or butterflies, or animals. Trees and plants come close, pretty close. But then I am hopeless at remembering trees, or anything actually, unless I see them everyday.

Birds are simple. From a distance. They hop, they sing and screech and sometimes just chatter or sleep, or gaze into the distance pointlessly. Kind of like how I like to spend my time. Maybe I like spotting them because they feel like me? Nah, too much. I just like them, who cares why! They are fun. From a distance.

I am sure they fight. Face hunger, and extreme heat, cold or wetness. Fear predators. Or just fear us at times. But I don't quite get to see all that in my evening leisure sprawls. My eyes and ears are peeled for some movement, a new sound, a new flight pattern, or a new color somewhere.

Rather stupid things make me laugh. Like when I saw the yellow-ish bum of a bulbul which has otherwise boring blacks, browns and whites all over. It's called a vent, the bum I saw. But it was Yellow! Seeing monkeys' red behinds used to amuse me years back. A bird with a yellow bum. Hah!
I also love tricking them. I think I manage to trick them. When I start my coo-oo-ooo whistle to catch the Koel's attention. Or try mimicing the mynah's chirp. Actually, it's puzzling and irritating them and joking around with them that I enjoy a lot. People say you shouldn't mimic birds, they might start looking for their mates and it might disturb them. But I ain't that good, that much I know. So I do mimic. And fun it is!

Though that stresses out my wife. When I try to irritate this cat that comes to our home every evening. I grab her tail and spin her around the smooth marble floor - the first time I cherished its smoothness in a long time, now that I don't have the body of someone who can slide with grace. I meant the cat's, not Annie's. Then the cat also follows me to the balcony if I am out watering plants and watching birds. Does she think she can get to some of them and make a nice meal? Maybe. Stupid cat. The birds aren't dumb enough to come to the balcony when you are there, dummy. Not that they come when I am alone too. But let's let that be.

There's a banyan tree right behind our home. A pretty young one I think, since its few aerial roots have yet to reach the ground. These aerial roots seem like the beard's hair of a grand-dad no? Maybe the length and number of aerial roots really is a good way to measure the tree's age. Much like someone's beard. Especially if it's white and long as that of Pai Mei from Kill Bill. (Oh I love the first movie. And the second. And the last. Just love them. The whistle in the Lonely Shepherd. And Bang Bang. Uma Thurman - now that's a GAL!)

So, Banyan tree. Come October and March, I swear I think there are more of these Green Pigeons than leaves in the tree. I step out into the kitchen balcony, soaking in the winter sun. Quite unaware of anything unusual. And I hear a soft innocuous whistle as if someone is idly teasing a friend. It seems as if it is coming from far away. I look up. Just leaves of the banyan. Nothing unusual. Another whistle, from a different direction this time. I swivel to look around again. Nothing. But then I see this branch laden with firm red figs. And before the stupidity could abandon me, there's a liud crack from somewhere and maybe a hundred birds are off. From this banyan. Where I could see nothing just a moment ago. I swear the tree seemed empty, of birds. These yellow footed rascals are so quiet. And so lazy. They are either asleep or they eat or they stare, yes, pointlessly. And they're so incredibly hard to spot amongst the green leaves too. Boy are those lazy bastards gluttons. How they swallow the whole fruit in one gulp. I got proof man! Lookie here - 


Lazy Bastards

Stupid, fascinating, lazy, and hardworking, singing friends you had in your childhood. That's birds. Maybe that's why I like being around them.

Oh, and I think kids are the same. Except the hardworking part. And especially the stupid part. And boy are they fun to be around :D


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