I had a rather strange experience yesterday morning. I went outside early, at about 7.15 a.m. to hang out the washing. The line is behind my dad’s office and near our two plum trees. There is a large olive tree next to the second plum tree. When I arrived at the line, there was a collection of birds in the olive tree and they were going crazy, screeching and making a huge noise.
I went over to the trees and, as I drew closer, I saw that not one, but two Loeries (a large grey fruit eating bird), were trapped under the net over one of the plum trees. The trapped birds were in a state, flapping around all over the place and unable to find their way out from under the net. I am way to short to pull the net off the tree, so I rushed inside and grabbed the kitchen scissors. Slash! Slash! I cut a huge hole above one of the birds and it flew away. A few of the birds in the olive tree rose up into the air and followed the escaped bird.
Several remained in the olive tree and they had become very quite as they watched. The remaining trapped bird was still in a panic, fluttering everywhere, and I was battling to cut in the right place to free it. One of the birds in the olive tree started to coo, a soft crooning coo. The trapped bird stopped flapping about and I was able to cut another hole in the net and set it free. The remaining birds in the olive tree then all took off and they disappeared back to the nearby bird sanctuary.
I believe that the birds definitely all communicated, initially expressing great anxiety at their trapped companions and then, the cooing bird, tried to calm down the last trapped bird so I could free it. It was a strange and surreal experience. I know for sure that birds have feelings and express emotions.
I wonder how long it will take my dad to notice the giant holes in the net? I think the holes are a great improvement. Little doors for the birds.
When we were in the Drakensburg during September this year, I also saw a bird romance. The hotel had a few peacocks roaming around and the peacock was romancing the peahen. I took these pictures: