Bird Brain: By Maurice St Jean


                                                (Who, who, who)

   Ohhhh, the nerve of it!

 Those . . . robins.

Sneaky as well!  I’ll give them that!

But it was MY man cave, after all; MY wood shop, MY shelter for MY long sought after and finally acquired vintage convertible. And they did it when I was not watching or was absent, having left the garage door open when running errands.

You see, they had decided to build their nest right on the chain housing atop of the garage door opener motor!!!

Ohhhh, . . . the Humanity!!!

I’m getting the ladder right this second before this goes any further!

I’ll show them, those sneaky, presumptuous invaders of MY kingdom!

I need to build a wall!!!


   After brushing the detritus of their unlawful construction sight from my Italian leather seats I backed the car out, grabbed the ladder and climbed up to seize their mess from amid MY kingdom, and…

In they flew! One close loop around my head and then into the closest rafters where, from the advantage of higher ground, they righteously gave me what for! Both of them! Two against one, and me teetering and defenceless against sudden attack!

I climbed back down muttering ten bad words at them, shooed them out of the garage, closed the gates and climbed once more to mete out my justice.

But . . .


   Is that really fur brushings from our dog woven amid the dead grass, twigs, bits of string and, mud and other things they’d carried in there to build the place of birth for their offspring? I wondered where it had disappeared to on a calm, day.

And how did they manage to bend those twigs to such a precise arc to surround the softer inner radius that would cushion the delicate eggs? How did they know how big or small the nest should be – large enough for mom or dad – and the eggs, and the eventual hatchlings? And how many eggs would there be?

Do they actually know?                                             

   Well, being a former tradesman who admires things that are well designed and properly constructed- with or without a blueprint, could I reasonably destroy it? Sure, the outside periphery of it was helter-skelter, but I surely admired the fit and finish of the area that counted. I would have to study upon this further.

Bird Brain:

Burd brayn ] noun Slang.

A stupid, foolish, or scatterbrained person.

Mildly insulting phrase denotes silly behaviour, actions or thoughts usually attributed to a child or immature person.

Wrong headed. What I have been once (?) labeled as.

Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone, OFM, better known as Francis of Assisi (Italian: Francesco d’Assisi; c. 1181 – 3 October 1226) was an Italian mystic and Catholic friar who founded the Franciscans. He was inspired to lead a life of poverty as an itinerant preacher. One of the most venerated figures in Christianity, Francis was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on 16 July 1228. He is usually depicted in a robe with a rope as a belt. He believed that nature itself was the mirror of God. He called all creatures his “brothers” and “sisters”, and even preached to the birds and supposedly persuaded a wolf in Gubbio to stop attacking some locals if they agreed to feed the wolf. His deep sense of brotherhood under God embraced others, and he declared that “he considered himself no friend of Christ if he did not cherish those for whom Christ died”.

Francis preached the Christian doctrine that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of human sin.

As someone who saw God reflected in nature, “St. Francis was a great lover of God’s creation …” In the Canticle of the Sun, he gives God thanks for Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Brother Wind, Water, Fire, and Earth, all of which he sees as rendering praise to God.

Many of the stories that surround the life of Francis say that he had a great love for animals and the environment. The “Fioretti” (“Little Flowers”) is a collection of legends and folklore that sprang up after his death. One account describes how one day, while Francis was travelling with some companions, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his companions to “wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds.” The birds surrounded him, intrigued by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away. He is often portrayed with a bird, typically in his hand.

Another legend from the Fioretti tells that in the city of Gubbio, where Francis lived for some time, was a wolf “terrifying and ferocious, who devoured men as well as animals”. Francis went up into the hills and when he found the wolf, he made the sign of the cross and commanded the wolf to come to him and hurt no one. Then Francis led the wolf into the town, and surrounded by startled citizens made a pact between them and the wolf. Because the wolf had “done evil out of hunger”, the townsfolk were to feed the wolf regularly. In return, the wolf would no longer prey upon them or their flocks. In this manner Gubbio was freed from the menace of the predator.

On 29 November 1979, Pope John Paul II declared Francis the patron saint of ecology. On 28 March 1982, John Paul II said that Francis’ love and care for creation was a challenge for contemporary Catholics and a reminder “not to behave like dissident predators where nature is concerned, but to assume responsibility for it, taking all care so that everything stays healthy and integrated, so as to offer a welcoming and friendly environment even to those who succeed us.” The same Pope wrote on the occasion of the World Day of Peace, 1 January 1990, that Francis “invited all of creation – animals, plants, natural forces, even Brother Sun and Sister Moon – to give honour and praise to the Lord. The poor man of Assisi gives us striking witness that when we are at peace with God we are better able to devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation which is inseparable from peace among all peoples.”

In 2015, Pope Francis published his encyclical letter Laudato Si’ about the ecological crisis and “care for our common home, which takes its name from the Canticle of the Sun that Francis of Assisi composed. It presents Francis as “the example par excellence of care for the vulnerable and of an integral ecology lived out joyfully and authentically”. This inspired the birth of the Laudato Si’ Movement, a global network of nearly 1000 organizations promoting the Laudato Si’ message and the Franciscan approach to ecology.

It is a popular practice on his feastday, 4 October, for people to bring their pets and other animals to church for a blessing.   Source: Wikipedia

Now, ask yourself how the confused, used and misdirected Greta Thunberg fits in to the above scene of natural harmony. Or John Kerry. Or Al Gore. Or in Canada, our very own Turdeau appointee yes-man, the Minister Steven Guilbeault, the bone headed, tail wagging advocate of the fight against the (global cooling{oops} global warming {oops} rising sea levels {oops} climate CRISIS, and has been lap dogging the assault on Canadian freedom from Laurier—Sainte-Marie for far too long. Bird Brains, one and all. Longing to rise in their pecking order?


    Well, a year’s gone by since he made his try

    But I can still recall

    How hard he tried and the way he died

    But he never made that wall, he never made that wall.

   Jonny Cash, The Wall

   Well, a year’s gone by since I made my try, a year since I recall smiling down at that shard of Robins Egg Blue sitting on that very same car seat. It turned out to be the moment of inspiration that prompted me to place a bird feeder on the front deck rail where, during morning coffee, I could study the society of birds. And the parallels to our own human society is nothing short of astounding.

And here you might indulge my usage of the word ‘race’ for species, and my substitution of home owner with ‘governor’.  Understand that, as governor, it is uncommonly proper for me to see to the wants and needs of my subjects. They are many and varied. A winged variety of various attitudes, behaviors, qualities and appearance. A diversity of colors, shapes sizes and stature. And apparently, that bird feeder has become quite the popular venue – so much so, that I recently relocated it to the shaded shelter of the trunk of our chestnut tree. Just behind our pedestaled statue of Saint Francis of Assisi. They were much closer and easier to watch when on the deck, but bird poop being what it is… .

The Sparrows are quite social and mix freely among their larger others, never balking at helping themselves side by side with the many and greedy Blackbirds who eat like it’s their last meal. The Jays, in all their perfect beauty come thumping on to the deck rail as they seemingly land as heavily as a Harrier Jet on a shifting ship deck. Finches, especially the Yellow Throated race hide their bright allure in the nearby bush until an all clear is seen and the snobbish Scarlets have had their fill. Mourning Doves (who, who, who) from the power cables and gather forces on the driveway where, being too lazy to perch on the feeder, poke their funny way across the tarmac to feed on the leavings of the Blue Jays – who scatter small seeds hither and yon in search of their preferred Sun Flower seeds. The doves have a way of staring guilt at you with their beady little eyes if the feeder needs filling as demonstrated to them by the finches tapping at the clear plastic to see if they can shake any remnants loose.

It’s interesting how most of the bird races send a forward recon to assess availability of resources, and call to their brothers and sisters in their native beak-tongue if it’s all good. They seem to share by instinct.

D’etante is the rule at the feeder I govern, however if it’s empty, most races will, if hungry enough, go and earn their own meal by working for it in the grass or trees. The lazy few just sit and complain to me in their chosen language telling me that, by my hand-outs, they have come to depend on me, their governor, for their subsistence, whether they have made an effort to earn it or not. If they had fingers rather than feathers, I think know which one I would be seeing. I’m pretty sure it’s called ‘flipping someone the bird’.

Hmmm.  I wonder if their predecessors spoiled them in to such attitudes about their providers. Would they, like Assisi’s wolf, ‘do evil out of hunger’? Would they organize? Did their parents try to prepare the sky for the ckicks instead of the chicks for the sky? (I borrowed from a different version of that phrase) Time will tell.


These things of the world.

   In the last year, the wind, having grabbed the drivers door of my precious, put a crimp in the door. A carpenter’s pencil in my back pocket – pointy end out – poked a hole in my drivers seat. And, I don’t seem to care about washing it so often as before.

As for the evicted Robins? They conceded to setting up their home between the exterior lamps of our back yard security light assembly, tucked safe and close and undisturbed under the sloping eve of that same garage. We look forward to our family watching them raise their families this year and the next.

I like Robins. Industrious lot they are. I’ve never, ever seen them at the feeder.

Maurice St. Jean

The Venturi Effect –


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