Ahh, spring love — but between a cat and … a bird?

I heard my cat, Phoebe, throwing herself at the bay window that looks out over the backyard yesterday afternoon. I thought she was being silly, trying to catch a tiny olive green bird with a red patch on its head. The bird was fluttering against the pane, and my poor cat –who has no concept, really, of what glass is– kept springing up to take a swipe only to fall back down, disappointed.

But then the bird kept coming back, and I realized there was more to this story.

The bird, as it turns out, is a male ruby-crested kinglet. I’ve never seen one in Ontario before, but I know it’s a “he” because I’ve learned that the little fluorescent red patch on the back of his head only comes out when he’s (a) agitated or (b)  in mating mode. I assumed when I first saw the red patch that he was terrified of the cat.

But now that the red patch has been in place for more than two days, and the bird remains pressed against his side of the glass, staring at the cat,  I think it’s option (b). Which is sweet, very amusing, and kind of a little creepy, given that Phoebe’s interest in him is  rather more culinary.

Here are some pictures of this little guy perching on the outside window ledge so he could get a closer look at her from the side window, where  there’s no reflection. He has spent several   hours now hovering beside it and  landing on the windowsill every minute or so, trying to get as close to her as he can.  (If you click on the images, you can enlarge them.)




And here’s Phoebe’s response, one of equal fascination.



I guess spring is in the air. I just hope this lovely suitor finds a more appropriate love interest, one that doesn’t think of him as a tender little morsel.

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