MARTY RUSSELL: This one strictly for the birds



About the only thing that hasn’t flown into my house recently is that missing Malaysian airliner.

I was sitting at home the other day minding my own business wondering what would become of Mississippi if the Tea Party got its way (“starvation” was the word that kept popping into my mind) when all of a sudden I heard a crash and the sound of glass breaking.

This wasn’t just a tinkling, dropping a hand mirror or a dish, this was full-throated, bull-in-a-china-shop glass breaking. So I ran to see if a glass truck or maybe the Popemobile had wrecked outside my house. But when I looked through the window all I saw was a large, perfectly round hole where the glass used to be. Looking through the hole out onto the porch, lying amid broken shards of glass, was a dove.

The bird was on its back, eyes closed and legs sticking up in the air like a Thanksgiving turkey. Poor bird, I thought. It must have flown into the window. And it must have been doing Mach Five when it did. But as I was mourning the dove, which I thought for sure must have broken its bird brain on the impact, it opened its eyes, hopped up and flew off leaving me with a mess to clean up and a $200 window repair bill.

It reminded me of a scene from Hitchcock’s, “The Birds,” probably the only movie more ambiguous and open for interpretation than “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Why did the birds attack people in the movie? Why did this bird attack my window? I don’t know, but I’m sure it was probably Obama’s fault.

A few days later my wife asked why the doors leading from the den onto our screened porch were closed when it was a beautiful day outside. I explained that there was a bird trapped on the porch and I didn’t want it to fly into the house. Eventually she was able to shoo the bird out through the screen door to the outside.

A few days later, however, the bird, a small wren, was back inside the screened porch. OK, I thought, this is starting to seriously freak me out. Somebody cue the “Psycho” music. But then my wife discovered why the bird kept returning to the enclosed porch. It had built a nest behind a picture sitting on a shelf and laid eggs in it.

Why our two cats, who normally would see a nesting wren as a light snack, had not bothered it I don’t know. Why it had not flown into the house when the inside doors were open, as they usually are, I don’t know. But now, every morning, I have to open the screen door to the outside so the bird can fly out and grab some breakfast.

I fully expect to come home one day and find a murder of crows on my couch playing “Angry Birds.”

Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at

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