Bird control

Photo ©Sébastien Bertru

800px-Circus_cyaneus,_France_1

 

A hen harrier circles the ploughed field, circles and

circles then swoops, and a flock of pigeons rises in a

 

compact, silvery glittering flutter, wheeling circling,

compact and glittering. Pigeon panic circles and flutters

 

away from the field drawn back again by the knowledge

of food, circling, in silver flutters beneath the golden sun.

 

The harrier, having missed the kill waits circling and

circling, drawing a crow family, sensing a fight, settling

 

in noisy mob pose in the trees. Pigeons panic a silver

cloud over the poplars, wheeling away and back while

 

crows wait and harrier watches. Over the ploughed

field the silver circling cloud flutters, sinks and settles

 

and the harrier is there, a pale, ghost-winged presence.

Crow mob clatters into flight, their ragged wings

 

clutching the air like hands clawing as they pivot on

nothing, yelling and snapping six black-cloaked

 

mobsters rattling beak blows and claws, circling,

wheeling, rising up beneath dropping from above,

 

fearless and aggressive. The hen harrier harried

mercilessly spreads pale wings, black-tipped and floats

 

away, leaving the silver cloud scattered among the furrows

and the black-cloaked vigilantes masters of the winter air.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

17 thoughts on “Bird control”

  1. I particularly like the way you describe the behaviour of the “crow mob”. It’s a tough life being a hen harrier, persectuted by man (in the UK, not sure about France?) and crows alike. The harrier harried.

    1. The crows attack all the big raptors but they never bother with the kestrels. No idea why but they give all the big birds of prey a hard time.
      They probably do get shot somewhere but most birds of prey are protected.

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