The bird is not the word I want to hear | Opinion

By Lachlan Durling

The avian world is against me.

And while this isn’t a new development — see the time I was ‘lucky’ enough to get a present from a flying fiend on the shoulder in the school yard — the bird community has really ramped up its attack on me in recent years.

I’m not talking about magpies swooping, which is set to begin again soon; no, I’ve always been able to hold my own against their aerial attacks.

It is the continual and orchestrated attack that I'm starting to think is targeted specifically at me.

So, if you will, get your tinfoil hat and join me.

Throughout the past two years I’ve lost count of the magpies, wrens, ducks and owls that have fallen foul of the front bumper of my car; the stealth-fighters that have left droppings and no other trace; and the large water birds with their standover tactics, just for a French fry.

It’s enough to make you lock yourself away from the great outdoors.

Twice in the past week I’ve had a duck run directly at me while I’ve been doing highway speeds. Let me clarify, two separate ducks on two separate occasions. Both playing chicken, one of them losing in a thud and a spectacular cloud of feathers.

And there were two pelicans at the lake who were very keen to help me finish my meal.

When they’re not making a beeline for the front bumper or for the last bite of my burger, birds are launching an all out attack on my sanity — and my paintwork.

I will admit I had forgotten the level of commitment of owning a black car. You could list the constant washing as a hobby. By the time you’ve put the bucket and sponge away, you may as well start getting the hose out again as the car turns a shade of brown or grey before your very eyes.

This isn’t helped by the mudlarks that attack their own reflections, the bird poos that occur in the time it takes to go into the petrol station and pay, or the magpies that fly in front of me and defecate upon impact.

Yes, not 15 minutes after I had packed the sponge away, the black front bumper was half white.

But I guess if that’s the worst of luck I’ll have I don’t have all that much to complain about.

Nevertheless, it’s enough to make you want to sell the car and buy a bike, but I worry the birds would follow.

And I’d need more than that tinfoil hat.

Lachlan Durling is a McPherson Media Group journalist.