Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Complaining catbirds

The spotted catbirds (Ailuroedus melanotis) are not happy. In order to get a clear line of sight to the satellite, the installers had to cut down a tree. Just a small tree. One that was only a few years old, probably a post-Larry seedling. But it was a tree with lots of perching spots that gave the catbirds a good view of my living room.

They still use the adjacent yellow evodia Melicope bonwickii, which is about the same height and girth and also bedecked with plenty of branches of just the right diameter. But it isn't the same. The catbirds glance at the space where the perfect tree once stood and then stare at me.

If they vandalise the dish, I won't be at all surprised.

To add insult to injury, Australia Post's 'Songbird' series of stamps features the green catbird (A. crassirostris), a closely related species from south-eastern Queensland and coastal New South Wales. I would imagine that the epithet 'songbird' refers to their classification as passerines and is not linked to their calls. Both the green and spotted catbirds are the Florence Foster Jenkins of the bird world. Here's the call of a green catbird, just in case you're not convinced.