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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Autumn mystery

Welcome to October. It's a beautiful autumn day. The leaves are golden and scarlet. The neighbourhood is peaceful and quiet, a soothing change from summer, where at any time of day you will hear a lawn mower roaring in the distance. It's sunny but not too hot. Perfect.

I walk out of my front door and see something strange at the end of the driveway. It looks like paint.


Puzzled, I take a closer look. It's not paint. It's poo. Bird poo. Lots of it, and all localized into a couple of square metres. Note the skillful grouping. Those buggers were pooping for accuracy.


There are tree branches overhead, but no nests. No birds are perched up there. Come to think of it, I've never seen birds perch there. They much prefer the backyard, where they get to gorge themselves on our bird feeders before taking a restful break on the fence, the typical repository for their brand of whitewash. Not this time, though. This time, the sidewalk gets it. One day, clean sidewalk. The next, it looks like the scene of a paintball massacre.

What had changed? If you look at the pictures, the droppings are in a pretty tight pattern.


They all look about the same age, so I doubt it's the result of one bird just liking that spot better and doing his business there every day for weeks. No, an entire flock of poopers chose that place, either deliberately or by happenstance. There's no similar cluster of bird offerings anywhere on the block (no, I didn't go hunting, I just kept my eyes open when I went for a walk).

It's a mystery. If I were a gang member, I'd see it as some sort of avian drive-by. "You better keep feeding us... or it'll be your car that gets it next time." If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd try to analyze the poo pattern for a secret code, perhaps marking my house for some nefarious purpose. I'm just a nerd, though, so instead I'll just idly wonder and make no effort to investigate the truth of the matter. Did a hawk or crow literally scare the crap out of some flock of sparrows? What went on here? I may never know, but I do know one thing:

This will haunt me for the rest of my days.

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