One Persistent Bird?

There is a parking garage I occasionally use when I'm out running errands. I tend to park on the same floor and use the same door to the shops. Every time I'm there, the same persistent bird startles me with its shrill cheep! from its nest in the rafters. But today I made a surprising and extremely obvious discovery...

The persistent bird in question startled me the first time I parked in the garage. I was heading toward the elevators when a loud cheep! and a flutter of black wings made me nearly jump out of my skin. The bird swooped down from the rafters behind me, flapping by on my left side and crossing in front of me to glide down to the lower level of the parking deck.

Looking back--after regaining my composure and glancing around to see that no one had witnessed my moment of terror--I saw the bird's nest in the rafters just above and behind me. It was squashed up against some kind of security box that had a dimly flashing red light. It seemed like a good, secure spot for a nest and I hoped I hadn't scared the bird off for too long.

When I came back to the garage, I was greeted by the same echoing cheep! and I looked up to see the bird hopping along the ledge next to the nest. It was some kind of black bird, smaller (and less terrifying) than it had looked when it had swooped beside me an hour or so earlier. I went to my car and  forgot about the bird as I drove home.

A few weeks later, I went back to the same parking garage. I was again startled by the bird's high-pitched cheep! and greeted by a flap of wings--this time not so close and no where near as frightening. I moved on, barely glancing back at the bird. It was somewhat annoying to be flustered over one small, yet surprisingly, noisy little bird. Over the course of a few months I went back to the same parking garage a few more times. Sometimes I saw the bird, sometimes I only heard the shrill, echoing cheep! from its nest.

I went back to the same parking garage this afternoon and noticed that I was tensing up a bit as I approached the path to the elevators. It had been a few weeks, but by now I had come to expect these brief birdly encounters, just as I knew they would be forgotten the moment I reached the elevators. Today, I became acutely aware of my anticipation. Would the bird just cheep! at me, or would it flutter around behind me?

As I got closer, I walked a bit slower. Wondering if the bird would stay quiet if I was a bit more stealthy. A few more steps.... A few more steps....


I had to laugh at myself, wasting time trying to creep past a silly bird when it was so cold outside. And then it hit me. Why was the bird still here when the temperature had dropped below freezing?

With a quick turn, I looked up at the rafters--at the spot where I had come to expect to see the bird hopping along the ledge or resting in his nest. But it wasn't there. No bird. No nest. And I realized that I  couldn't remember when I last looked up to see either. I just heard the cheep! and assumed...

Without the nest nestled beside it, the security box with its dimly flashing light took on new meaning. I walked several steps back toward my car, turned and walked back toward the elevators. Cheep!

The cheep! had never come from the bird at all.


  1. It's kind of like that movie, you know, the one with all the birds.

  2. LOL- Did you even read the story or do you just trot that line out every time I mention a bird? :-P