All my birding life, I had heard about certain birds going to battle with their images reflected by windows and mirrors. But it wasn’t until April of this year that it happened to me. Or rather, to my car… which suffered the fierce attack of a Hooligan Bluebird.
I had gone to investigate the area around Atécuaro, a tiny town to the south of the church my wife and I pastor on the edge of the city of Morelia, Mexico. I knew the area showed promise, but hadn’t made a serious visit until the opening of our city’s first tunnel made the route more accessible. I parked under some mature Michoacán Pines near a farmed field, typical habitat for Eastern Bluebirds. (These are surprisingly common in our zone, in spite of a total lack of nesting-box culture in Mexico.)
Almost immediately, two Bluebirds turned up:
My first guess was that they were a male and a female. But then, the “female” began to develop an unusual interest in my car, and specifically, the “Bluebird” it perceived to be there. At this point, my theory changed to it being an immature male, feeling its hormonal oats:
Still, my young, hormonal friend didn’t seem to be doing him/herself any harm, and even seemed to lose interest after a while. So I moved on to check out some nearby local specialties, such as this Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer and Russet Nightingale-Thrush:
It wasn’t until I got back to my car, almost an hour later, that I realized I should never have left my hormonal Bluebird friend alone. He was still going at it, and had worked himself into quite a tizzy by now:
Which is why I decided that the best thing for all concerned would be for me to beat a hasty retreat. I know my car suffered no permanent damage; I can only hope the same is true for my little blue friend.
And what, you may ask, was the older (and supposedly more responsible) Bluebird doing all this time? Fortunately, I did manage to get a glimpse… He was doing what all we older males need to do to keep ourselves in working order: calisthenics!