Bird Observation

Pansy Cradledew reports that a pigeon, or possibly a cumulet, has become a regular visitor to her sixteenth-floor windowsill. The curious thing about this pigeon is that it spends all its time on these visits standing on one leg. Pansy wonders if this is normal pigeon behaviour, or if her visitor is some sort of avian Ian Anderson, legendary fish farmer and flautist of Jethro Tull, who was of course noted for playing his flute while perched on one leg. I suggested that the best way to test this theory was to whittle a twig into a rudimentary bird flute, lodge it in the bird’s beak, and wait to hear what mellifluous sounds may emerge. I shall keep readers apprised of the results of this important experiment.

3 thoughts on “Bird Observation

  1. Regrettably ‘market forces’ are often cited as the prime deity of our age; but in this case their influence can be usefully harnessed to determine the nature of the feathery monopod.

    Procure a vinyl copy of Jethro Tull’s ‘Aqualung’ (there’s at least one in every charity shop in the land, rubbing tired shoulders with Manuel and the Music of the Mountains and the like).

    Have the suspect pigeon sign the album in a medium of its choice (eg cuneiform beakings, spatters of poo, etc).

    Offer the album, thus endorsed, on eBay.

    If it is eagerly competed for by Tull cognoscenti, and sells for a spectacular sum, then market forces indicate that the pigeon is indeed ‘some sort of avian Ian Anderson’.

    If the auction attracts no interest at all, and fails completely, market forces are telling you that the visitor is no Flying Flautist, merely a bird with a sore foot: and Mr Key knows better than any of us what sort of paste, salve, poultice or nostrum will best serve in such an instance.

  2. During my observations of pigeons I have noted that their neck muscles seem to be attached to their leg muscles.
    This accounts for the head’s ‘nodding’ motion whilst the bird is walking…
    I have also noted that when playing Tull’s mega hit, Living In The Past’, that Pigeons invariably walk and nod in time to the song which is, of course, in 5/4 time…
    Not yet seen a one legged pigeon play the flute though…

  3. Many thanks for these tips. I’ve decided to trawl through Pansy’s record collection to see if she has a copy of “Thick As A Brick” or “Heavy Horses”, and if so to play them with the speakers pointing directly at the bird. If the pigeon’s expression alters as a result of hearing these seminal albums, we will edge a little closer to the truth.

    (Note : observation indicates that it is not a lame pigeon. It has simply tucked up one leg a la the Tull maestro.)

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