When we see others as evil, unable to care, or in some fundamental way immune to transformation, then, if they can’t be ignored, the only available strategy is to overpower and vanquish them.” —Miki Kashtan
During the spring and early summer when the birds in this region are nesting, a few things happen.
First, we invest extra money in seed. There are more than eighteen bird species that live around our house, and they eat everything by the pound.
Second, the male birds become extra territorial.
Most of the birdfeeders are near windows so that anyone in the house can watch the birds from indoors. But this also means that birds sometimes see their reflections in the glass as they fly up to eat.
For some reason, smaller birds seem especially prone to the illusion that another bird is just a glance away, looking at them, staring them down, and menacing.
Every so often at this time of year, we hear the thunk-thunk-thunk of a bird ramming itself into a window with wings extended, trying to play chicken with its mirror image.
Thunk. That’ll teach him!
Thunk. Who does he think he is, flying up on me like that?
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
And a bird can easily thunk himself unconscious doing this.
If I’d like to eat from life’s buffet in peace rather than bash myself unconscious, I need to come to terms with my own reflection. I can’t make progress if I can’t recognize and accept myself, if I catch glimpses of myself as I navigate the world yet render myself a threat to be overpowered and vanquished.
The biggest danger to the nesting bird is not the external predator or competitor. It is his own reflection.