A bird in the hand

I had to laugh at a line in a regular column in our daily newspaper this morning.

‘A bird in the hand is safer than one  overhead.’

I disagree.

Yes – sure – I’ve been pooped on from above on a number of occasions. The most memorable of these was twice in the space of a few minutes while exploring the streets of Kathmandu in Nepal.

But having a bird in the hand is no guarantee of safety. I’ve handled a few birds over the years, including in aviaries and birds in our garden stunned from flying into windows. I’ve been pooped on the hand more than once from nervous birds.

Most birds have rather sharp claws and small parrots have needle like bills. I have never handled a larger parrot, one such as a Galah, without some form of protection for my hands. I reckon that our large black cockatoos would do some serious damage to a finger given half a chance. I prefer not to test out that theory.

Being pooped upon is only one of the hazards of being around birds. Some birds are very cantankerous given the right circumstances.  A few years ago I wrote a long article about dealing with aggressive bird behaviour. It has proved to be one of the most popular articles on this blog.

Happy birding.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos


2 Responses to “A bird in the hand”

  1. Jim says:

    It’s a metaphor! It’s not really referring to birds!

    • Trevor says:

      Thanks for visiting my site, Jim. Thanks also for the comment.

      Of course it’s a metaphor – the original quote, that is. It’s just that the journalist who changed it from a tired old cliché to something new not only amused me, it started a train of thinking in my mind which took me to thinking of bird encounters in my own life. That, after all, is the focus of this site.

      I feel you’ve quite missed the point of my article.

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