I can’t get into bird chirping. I know people who are like “It was so nice. I woke up to birds chirping” First of all, there is nothing nice about waking up. You know why? Waking up puts you that much closer to getting out of bed. If somebody was to write a How to Get Out of Bed handbook, waking up would be Step One. Second of all, when I wake up to birds chirping I think “Great, even the birds are enjoying life more than me” then I get up and shut the window.
It seems like it’s always one bird chirping to another bird two trees away. Hey hey hey, you can fly! It’ll take two wing flaps for you to go sit next to her and chirp at a conversational level. You’re being loud AND lazy.
There is no other animal that can get away with that. You never hear people saying
“Good morning honey, do you hear those dogs barking? It’s gonna be a greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat day”
“Babe, wake up! Listen to the snakes hissing, it almost sounds like they’re in our room. Make love to me”
“Sweetheart, are you listening to those humans screaming? That’s what life is about. Let’s just call in sick and enjoy the day together”
I googled “why do birds chirp?” turns out the New York Times had a blurb about it in 1993. Yes, even people who read the Times are wondering why. Chirping is used for mating and protecting territory.
So I get the whole mating thing. If all I had to do was chirp to symbolize I’m ready for mating I’d be the most annoying chirper around. Who knows, I might even rent a Big Bird costume and give this whole I chirp, We mate theory a try. It’s the predawn part I have the biggest problem with. I’m sure there are birds that get annoyed with the whole thing too, lonely birds who hate getting up at the crack of dawn. These guys are just hoping for a broken wing accident so they can get some pity mating.
But protecting territory through chirping? Chirping is not intimidating. In fact it’s somewhat of an audio taunt. I don’t yell out my window “Hellloooooooo this is where I keep my stuff, therefore this is my territory. If you think it’s your territory we will have to have a physical altercation about it. Helllllllllllllllllllooooo. I said …this is where I keep my stuff, therefore this is my territory………………..”
On a final note, and maybe this should have been the only note, how can anyone relish in the voice of a beast who has the power to shit on us from a distance? I know, it doesn’t happen often but when it does, it’s not easily forgotton. I got shit on 3 or 4 years ago eating steamers at a dockside restaurant in Montauk, sitting across from a manboy I had coerced into coming on a two day gig with me. There I was reaching for my vodka soda, hold the soda, and splat. A bird shit on me. Now I have no reason to believe the bird aimed for me. I don’t. I have no reason to believe that. But I believe it anyway.
The guy I was with was a detective so I immediately put him on the case. I wanted to press charges. This was criminal shit. I tried to give a description. I asked if he could be an eyewitness or would it be a conflict of interest. My manboy found none of it funny. Except the part where he got to see me get shit on. He really liked that.
Anyway, I never saw that bird again but I still have the feces sample in the event he strikes again.
A repeat offender.
Shit and run.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand-up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable bed. She spends most of her time wondering where the hell her sugar daddy is and hoping he didn’t settle.
By C. CLAIBORNE RAY
Published: October 26, 1993 Q&A
By C. CLAIBORNE RAY
Published: October 26, 1993
New York Times
Q. Why do birds chirp before dawn?
A. Birds sing or chirp in the growing predawn light for the same complicated reasons that they do at other times of day, said Martha Fischer, an education assistant at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y. Singing in springtime by the male serves purposes like signifying the nesting territory and attracting females for mating. At other times, chirping can keep the flock together or be a warning signal.
"Some birds will continue all day," Ms. Fischer said. "They just start at dawn." She said her guess was that birds burst into song around dawn "after some down time, so they are thoroughly rested, to start anew re-establishing their territory," in effect saying, "I'm still here."