Thursday, June 9, 2011

Talk about a Pet Peeve

by Guest Blogger Janet Bolin

Oriole_pecking_and_CHIRPing 7  AM: CHIRP. Awww, how cute! A male Baltimore Oriole is perched on the outside door handle, tilting his head and peeking into the kitchen. His black beady eye seems to stare at me like he’s begging for more oranges. Bang! Oh, no, birdie, don’t peck the glass. You might hurt yourself. More oranges on the way. Maybe he’s used to humans and wants to be a sort of outdoor wild pet?

9 AM: How cute! He’s still pecking at the glass and chirping loudly. He has more oranges, what else can he want?

10 AM: He’s still at it. Apparently, he thinks his reflection is another male Baltimore Oriole and he wants it to go away.

11 AM: Peck, peck, peck. CHIRP! Now he’s tap dancing on the ledge at the bottom of the door, beating his wings on the glass and pecking at his reflection. Very cute, but he’s going to hurt himself. Phew! He flew back to the oranges.

Oriole_tapdancing 11:01AM: Peck! CHIRP! He’s back. Okay, a respite. He’s flown off for more oranges.

11:02:  Peck, peck! CHIRP! Seriously, if he keeps this up, he’s going to do himself a serious injury. What if I hang a beach towel on the outside of the glass door so he can’t see his reflection? Oh. He attacks windows.

6 PM: Peck, peck, peck. He’s been pecking at the door and windows for eleven hours now, except for frequent, very short, trips for another beak full of oranges. He must need a lot of oranges to stay this active. You’d think he’d get tired. I am.

9 PM: Finally, the Baltimore Oriole has gone to bed for the night.

6 AM: Peck, peck, peck! What is that racket awakening me from a deep sleep? CHIRP! Oh. It’s that Baltimore Oriole.

Noon: Yes, you’re cute, peeking in like that, but really, all day yesterday, and all morning today. Shouldn’t you be building a nest or something?

6 PM: What’s in those oranges? That bird must be exhausted. I am.

9 PM: Phew. He’s gone to bed. Not that he has bothered to build a nest, yet. He’s been too busy attacking the door and the windows . . .

6 AM: Peck, peck! CHIRP! Peck, peck, peck, peck, peck! I DON’T get up at 6. Certainly not every morning! I think I have a pet—a pet peeve. Okay, hang on, birdie, I’ll get you some more oranges.
Janet Bolin’s short stories have been published in trade magazines and literary journals. Her humorous essays have been read aloud on national radio programs on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and published in the anthology DEAR SAD GOAT. Janet’s first novel, DIRE THREADS, the first in the Threadville Mystery series, is in stores now.

“With a winning cast of characters, Bolin should be able to stitch together quite a series for Willow and her fellow shopkeepers. Certain to appeal to Lorna Barrett's 'Booktown Mystery' readers.”
– Library Journal


  1. Oh yes, I can identify. We had a male nuthatch with window control issues last year.

    Except he started in at FIVE AM!

    (Love the way you wrote this up - very entertaining to read!)

  2. Five AM! Much worse! Update: the oriole is still around but seldom pecks at the window. He did have a silly standoff with a red-bellied woodpecker over the oranges. Who knew that red-bellied woodpeckers loved oranges? Or that birds stuck their tongues out at each other?

  3. This is so cute! Of course, I wouldn't think so if he was pecking at *my* door!

    A male cardinal does the same sort of thing at my house, but he doesn't start quite so early, and sometimes he thinks that the enemy cardinal must be in my neighbor's house and he goes over there to fly at their windows.

    ~ Krista
    Domestic Diva Mysteries

  4. Maybe I can send the oriole to the neighbors'. But I do like his song, when he's not chirping and pecking at the window!

  5. I think birds are just plain weird. It's a wonder there are any cardinals, they're so dumb. They always make nests where my cats can get them.

    I hope the oriole goes away soon!

  6. Kaye, I think he has stayed around, which is fine, because he's pretty and he may be raising a family, and he has nice things to say from the tops of trees. He has mostly learned not to fight with his reflection, we think . . .

  7. Janet, I had birds that loved to nest in the chimney and make all sorts of fluttering and pecking sounds. What fun that was. I thought I had bats until I found out there were such things as chimney birds.

    BTW, cute pictures of the bird. Did you get a lot of writing done? Perhaps hunt and pecking?


  8. Our red-bellied woodpeckers like to drum on our chimney cap and our aluminum gutters. It's a territorial thing -- make as much noise as possible to tell others of their species that this is their turf. That will wake you up, trust me.

  9. Sorry about the bird. Maybe he needs a friend.