Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just call me Dr. Doolittle

Over the last few years, I've picked up a little bit of chicken-speak. I'm not fluent and I understand it better than I speak it. Chickens have a wider range of vocalizations than you probably realize.

I was pleasantly amused at the newfound hen's reaction when I "spoke chicken" to her. Her head whipped around and she got right in my face and just stared at me. Like an ape scientist finding out Charlton Heston can talk. She was flabbergasted. Or, at least she looked flabbergasted. To be honest, chickens always kinda looked flabbergasted.

I've named her Serendipity - Sarah for short.

I also had a cool interaction with a bird of a different feather this afternoon - a turkey vulture. They are very common here. I see them almost daily, up to twenty at a time, lazily circling the sky and playing in the thermals. Since I live on a hill, I often get to look down on them as well.

Today, as I burning off trash outside, a few of the vultures came in low over the treeless yard. When one was almost overhead, I whistled at it. It came to a stop and hovered directly above my head, about 30 feet from the ground. I whistled again.

"Aaaak," it replied without a hint of melody. The huge bird hovered for another second or two before flying off to rejoin the others.

Not once in the almost three years I've been here have those vultures uttered a sound. That was so cool.

Now if I could just get the cats to listen to me...

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