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Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Musical Birds

I am prompted to write this following a strange happening yesterday. It is winter in the Eastern Cape, and it had been raining for much of the morning and the previous night, but in the afternoon the wind had dropped to a serene calm – not enough to stir the wind chimes on my porch. I was watching one of the few local satellite Olympics channels, when the wind chimes started ringing out their music – something these particular chimes had not done for many a day, since the sail and clapper had been missing for some time. I decided to investigate this weird occurrence and peered out through the window.

Some time ago I had made a perch for a pair of swallows nesting just a few feet away. It is just a length of stiff electricians wire put there to replace a string of Christmas lights that the swallows had become used to. There on the wire was perched a glossy yellow-eyed starling, a frequent visitor to our yard. The starling had decided to play with the shiny silver tubes of the chimes and with the strings from which they are suspended. I would be interested in hearin whether this was typical of the behavior of this species.