Friday, July 13, 2007

Stop! Thief!

Hey you with the gray trench coat and high and tight*, quit stealing my blueberries! They aren't even ripe. And now you've even gotten Robin into the act. Stop it before your cowbird friends see what you're doing, copycat that they are. Before long the mocker will show up for his take too. Robbers all. Arrgh!

*From Wikipedia: Types of flattops (Haircut)

The flattop haircut was most prominent in America in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In recent years, flattops have enjoyed a revival among men.

There are several varieties of flattops. One of the longest types, the "Flattop DA" (Duck's Ass) was popular in the 1950s and 1960s and featured the hair of the sides of the head being longer and combed back. A similar hairstyle is the Japanese Punch perm, which is favored by old-school members of the yakuza (Japanese mafia). At the other end of the spectrum is the horseshoe flattop, in which all of the hair on the sides and back are completely shaved to the skin (called "whitewalls"), as is the "landing strip" on the top, leaving only a U-shaped ring of hair on the top of the head. The horseshoe flattop is related to the "high and tight" (my quotation marks) and is particularly popular with United States Marines and Army Rangers.


Anonymous Anthony said...

I'm glad you caught that bird in the act. Now the police can use this photo to track him down and make berry bushes in NJ safe once again. :)

I'm slowly watching my blackberries disappear so I can totally relate.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Anthony,
The berry is so large I don't see how the bird can swallow it, especially when it's in the hard green stage. I hope the bird choked. ;)

I was surprised to see a Robin in the bushes too, helping itself to the green berries. This is the first year in 5 that I've seen that happen.

The catbirds are so voracious they're even eating our Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes planted in containers on the deck. I wonder what they'll eat next?

7:18 PM  
Blogger Sue Swift said...

What sort of bird is it? I love his crest ...

3:24 AM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Oh, that's a shame. Great picture though. We hardly ever see catbirds - except sometimes in the spring (maybe on their way to NJ?).

I cobbled together a plastic mesh cover over the tomatoes yesterday. I hope it's enough to keep casually-interested critters away, but I doubt if it will work if they're really determined.

4:59 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Good evidence there, Ki. What a naughty bird ... but how to stop them? You probably have an extra-delicious crop this year and that's why they are getting an early start on eating them.

Frustrating unless you put mesh over them to keep the birds out. Grr... I feel your pain.

6:35 AM  
Blogger IBOY said...

Great picture!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Yup. I would guess that this is the same guy who was hitting gardens in Cleveland for blueberries last month... but as my blackberries are starting to disappear now, too, I'm thinking that my perp is still around.

Fruit netting. About $6.99 for 7x4ft square...

3:50 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Sue Swift,
As Entangled mentions in her comment after yours, it's a catbird. A Gray catbird to be more precise, Dumetella carolinensis. They say the bird mews like a cat but I don't think it sounds much like a cat. I'm trying to think what kind of sounds it makes - I think it's a soft geee, geee sound. The raised black cap is characteristic of the bird. Thanks for stopping by.

Ah, so you're to blame. Sending them on to us to have to contend with. ;) I've given up. When I was growing plums I covered the tree with mesh and the catbird still managed to get under the netting. With so many birds this year attacking the berries I don't have a chance. As I mentioned, even a robin was eating the fruit which is a first. What's with that! Aren't worms tasty enough? Out cat lays right on the deck not three feet from the blueberry bush and the birds just feed anyway so the netting wouldn't be much of a deterrent imo.

Hi Kate,
I was just going back indoors after taking pictures of some flowers when I saw the bird flitting in the blueberry bush and caught her/him in the act. I shot at a distance with only a 4x zoom camera so I had to do some massive cropping and the result is that the photo is not as sharp as it should be but I managed to apprehend the bird with a berry in it's mouth. We do...did have a great crop this year. Luckily I picked about a gallon of berries before the pillaging started so at least we'll have a pie or two.

Hi Iboy,
Thanks. It was a lucky shot. The bird was in a taunting mood I guess. Just stood there facing me for a few seconds as if to tease my impotence.

Hi Kim,
These guys are fearless. I've seen one perched on a tree branch only about 3 feet away. Funny, we had some wild blackberries close to the property line in the back of the house but the birds didn't seem to eat those berries. I could pick as many as I wanted. But they sure love the blueberries. The blackberries were large and completely ripe but very few takers. I wonder why? Yet you and Anthony say they love to eat the domesticated blackberry. Interesting. As I mentioned to Entangled, I tried netting but it's ugly and won't stop a determined bird. They've taken so many at this point it's a lost cause.

7:18 PM  
Blogger lisa said...

That bird is cool-looking, even for a shameless thief! Thanks for the flat-top son sported one for most of his childhood, of the whitewall variety. He loved it when the barber used "butch wax" to make it stand up. ( the term "butch wax" may have vastly different connotation in today's society, huh? ;)

11:21 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Lisa,
Either the bird was excited or angry at me for interrupting its meal because the black cap on its head usually lays flat not. Boy, I haven't heard butch wax in a long time. I remember when growing up Butch or Butchie was a common nickname. I wonder when it became associated with gays. Probably in the 60's?

4:44 AM  

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