Oh how I empathise with Niven and his honeyeater problem!
With my car (note to Alex Appleman, it is cardinal red) the birds that adorn
it are White-browed Scrubwrens. They don't just sit on the mirrors. They sit
on the rubbers beneath the windows and leave a row of bright white
tear-shaped residues along the full length of the car - both sides. About 15
droppings per door, plus another 15 to 20 between the back door and the rear
end of the wagon - on each side. So that's around ninety individual
presents, PLUS a veritable heap of guano on top of each mirror housing.
There is no point washing the car too often - because it will be redeposited
over the course of the next day or so.
But given that White-browed Scrubwrens are forever breeding around the
house, and tend to wander around on the verandahs, and that they are such
companionable and confiding little birds, I feel fairly comfortable with
this attachment they've developed to the car. Perhaps I think of it as the
sign of an intimate and privileged relationship - marked by a unique badge
Mind you, over the last few months my car has developed a distinctively
scruffy look, probably not so well regarded by those outside this fraternity
of ours. Certainly when we go to town, or pick up visitors from the airport,
everyone knows which is the birders car!
Lockyer Valley, Queensland.
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