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The Funky Twitters By A Disu

Social networking in an avian society told in bites of 140 characters or less

In my corner of the world things are as they’ve all ways been, it’s a cat eat bird eat worm eat leave world which is fine if you are a cat.

But this is a story about the birds



The funky twitters are the birds that live in a garden, ‘Poinciana avenue’ they are several different specie that are resident and several more that come to visit. It’s a large garden with a variety of fruit and nut trees for visiting birds, and flowers for nectar, which the humming birds adore. The main draw is a huge Poinciana “flame of the forest” tree in front of the pool; this tree can be seen for miles around especially when it’s in bloom. It serves as a beacon for migratory birds, which need a place to rest and take stock of their surroundings. The main drawback is the resident cats. The tweets never stop in Poinciana avenue day or night you can here the birds and bats at it. Even the owls join in at night with woots galore as they hunt for mice and keep a look out for the cats This is the story about how the birds got their groove on, creating a safe place for them to live and bring up their young.


The funky twitters Chapter one Flighty the bat Last Easter, two Peregrines came too make their nest in our flame of the forest tree. You could see why they chose our yard, it was one of those years when the circumstances are just right and the tree was in full bloom. They were in love. The nest was outrageous; it would remain like a piece by Giacometti at MOMA till late November. The nest finally succumbed to one of the violent storms that herald the end of the rainy season and the beginning of harmattan. At the start the two lovebirds were voracious, and the local resident association of birds were not amused. But what could they do? You see the problem was with the Poinciana resident aviary association, which was headed by Flighty the bat. The P.R.A.A was formed to provide a safe haven for the various birds, which lived amongst the many trees to be found in the garden. The main danger came from the fat cats Mr and Mrs B, which prowled mainly at night, and the occasional chicken hawk The hawks could swoop down at the speed of sound and make away with any unsuspecting birds as they crossed the broad pool Now Flighty was the head of a rather large brood of bats, which lived in the casuarinas tree. It being a democratic community Flighty was also the head of the PRAA he was always elected on a majority He could be depended upon to raise the alarm, when the cats where out on the prowl at night.

Which was great if you where a bat and was okay for the birds as they where spared surprises at night But he was powerless against the Peregrines, he would stay up one day to try and confront them but he was to tired having been up all night. He was totally disorientated by the noise in the light of day and would come a cropper when he flew in to a sun lounge. The peregrines were no match for him, A new solution would have to be found.


Chapter two The rebirth of birds With Flighty gone, and the Peregrines in residence the garden fell silent. During the day, the birds where sitting ducks for the peregrines and at night they were sleeping ducks for the cats Something had to give In the abandoned plot next door lived a large community of pigeons, the thick bamboo providing a place to roost. They were quite a bunch. With no fruit or nut trees in their plot, they where forced to forage abroad and had developed a rakish attitude to the hunt. But more importantly they had learnt how to communicate, you see though they were all pigeons they were of different breeds

Living different life’s; by constantly tweeting they where able to build a strong and vibrant community. By retweeting they had broken down barriers and developed communication channels between species A pair of wise Doves from next door would come to the rescue of us all by explaining twitiqet to us birds And by showing the Peregrines, the wisdom of membership and its privileges. Basically alarm privileges were rescinded and the resident cats almost had baby peregrines for supper.


It was decided it would be best for all if Mr and Mrs P; to paraphrase: would not hunt where they eat. And with this agreement in place the PRAA would form the Ft’s “funky tweeters” As long as all birds kept tweeting they could all be kept informed of what was going on around the community. It wouldn’t be long before the funky Tweeters could be heard all over the world


The Funky twitters Chapter three Mr and Mrs W With this brilliant show of leadership Mr and Mrs W the wood doves, installed themselves in the giant Indian rubber tree. And with a quick bit of social networking amongst the FT’s the W’s were made head of the Poinciana resident aviary association. They would rule over the association in an uptight, 5th avenue, seat on the board of the co-op type way. The doves that summer would let in the most eclectic collection of birds The obvious draw being of course the branches for nesting in the glorious trees in the garden. The not so obvious draw being the security provided by the P’s and the T’s. The Peregrines and the Twitters. Once the Peregrines saw the error of their way they naturally provided security from other birds of prey We would have a couple of Dali-esque Parakeets the PRT’s the social darlings at the palm nut buffet. An ill-mannered Aegean blue kingfisher ruled over drinking rights at the pool and was the head of the AT’s An Odalisque family of midnight blue, crow like birds with eyes like Egyptians made up the Ct’s A bunch of woodpecker punks the Wt’s some geeky yellow beaked toucans, which loved to ‘lol’ the Yt’s, Herons, Cranes, Egrets and migratory birds in the know would all

come a calling. The finches ‘Ft’s, being naturally fecund had raised a huge flock capitalising on the protection offered by Mr and Mrs P. They provided the alarm system the community relied on, ensuring the free flow of information at all times. They formed the chattering class amongst the garden community, which was made up of all the twitters. The various specie of birds; Humming birds, Swallows, Canaries, Tits and Robins formed the rest of the twitters To this melee came Rosie a rose pigeon She moved in after a fracas between Mr and Mrs W and the pigeons from the bamboo grove next door. Using a guerrilla style to twitting. The nextdoor pigeons had decided to muscle in on Poinciana Avenue by spreading a vicious rumour. It was rumoured that Mr and Mrs W, saw them selves as cousins or relations to the Peregrines! No longer as Doves. Why? they asked where no pigeons allowed to reside in Poinciana avenue. It was only a matter of time, they implied before the W’s develop a taste for flesh. We had all read Animal Farm you see. So even though we turned a blind eye to Mr and Mrs P scandalous relationship with the PRAA and their love for baby pigeon this wouldn’t do. We were not about to watch as Mr and Mrs W embarked on a Darwinian experiment at our expense. The funky twitters


Chapter four Rosie’s move Now Rosie was that rare thing, a head turning rose pigeon, and she wanted more. She told her self she would not waste her assets but would marry up in the world of twitters. She was attracted to the Peregrine twins. Mr and Mrs P’s Boys, Patrick and Peter. And with some witty retweets soon caught their attention. Deluded by the leadership of the wood doves she believed in crosspollination when she should have gone for out right protection. You see she had grown promiscuous due to her add (attention dependant disorder) and would have fallen prey to Patrick. Patrick was about to break the cardinal rule of not hunting at home to show off to Paul who had brought home a fresh kill pigeon last week. This was the sign Mrs P had been waiting for and she and Mr P took off finally leaving the twins to their own devices. On the afternoon of the incident when most of the animals had left Poinciana Avenue to forage further a field Rosie would return to the roost so to speak, for a secret rendezvous with Patrick. ‘Ooooh’ she said to her self-look at his strong thick neck I wonder what the kids would look like. Oh he said to him self, I fancy a bit of neck tonight, they both gazed longingly at each other from the branches high up high in the tree. The Poinciana tree had shed its leaves and was bare apart from the

nest, which was in its last phase as a bachelors pad for the twins. But then the Ft’s arrived sounding the alarm in the nick of time. You see it being the harmattan there were no young to tend and the security had been a bit lax lately. A few pigeons had come to an unfortunate end already, one going to Sally one of the cats just the other day. Tongues were beginning to wag at first no one really minded as the pigeons it was universally believed ate more than their fair share. Never the less the wood doves were pigeons too. It was rumoured ‘Mainly by the W’s “ that so also were the Peregrines… And the W’s to the alarm of the twitters, said they would let loose the two twins on the population if any more slips in security happened. Very soon all the birds were assembled on the branches of the trees a huge host to be holding, all tweeting away. There would be no pigeon on the menu tonight thought Patrick this is getting messy. Oh dear thought Rosie how do I sashay out of this fine mess; “its not what you think” she said, lowering her tail feathers. “We are just friends having an innocent chat” “Its not what you think” said Patrick “I would never hurt a fly in this neck of the woods”. That’s enough of this foolishness said Mrs W I think I better have a word with Rosie. Any way it was to late the truce had been broken in thought if not in deed. It is in the hearts of birds as in did in man that the seeds of evil are first sown. A grand council was called, it was learnt that Mary was saved by her

vanity. Arriving fashionably late as usual, had meant Foli an Ft would return from the days work just in time to sound the alarm. The Peregrines would have to go. It was decided they would be hounded out. All the birds gathered together and began to tweet in unison their voices shrill and cutting, their movement precise. Very soon the Peregrines with one last look took off leaving Poinciana Avenue for good.

The Funky Twitters

Chapter five The peregrine twins. Patrick and Peter where the twin boys Mr and Mrs P had in Poinciana Avenue we had all watched them learn how to fly that spring. And marvel as they where thought how to hunt, first by chasing dragonflies then termites and finally lizards. Where Peter was quick to learn and hard working Patrick was fat and lazy, being the runt of the litter he had quickly become spoilt. Especially after an incident when he was still a baby and one of the cats had almost made away with him. Mrs p was over protective over Patrick always keeping back extra snails and bits of pigeons for him. We would watch as they launched themselves from the Poinciana tree over the pool and on to the fence as they learnt to fly. Their bellies reflecting the blue of the pool, the curve of their flight path as graceful as swallows. Well at least for Peter, Patrick always had more of a pigeons grace due to his rather rotund figure. But a Peregrine is a Peregrine and they would soon both glide effortlessly over the pool. Mr and Mrs P would take them hunting further a field, as the spring would turn to summer and the summer fall. The Poinciana tree would lose its leaves but still the Nest would stay like a huge citadel in the sky It would soon be time for the parents to leave the nest as the boys grew up you could almost hear the nest groan for lack of space. And you new Mr P was getting fed up with the lack off privacy and the Twins had been kick out of the nest once or twice.

Just after one of the Last great storms that would herald the end of the raining season Peter would return with a fresh kill a baby pigeon This was the sign Mr and Mrs P were waiting for, they where up and away and the Nest would enter its last phase the bachelor phase. Which Patrick, and his sly ways would terminate. When he tried to Kill, Rosie the beautiful but silly Rose pigeon. Spring was in the air again and Peter had recently been spotted. He was in a relationship with a pretty young thing from Portland ,rumours had it that they were thinking of settling down. Rosie had settled down with Rupert a rose pigeon, and had moved in to the Indian rubber tree. It was early days still but the first rains had fallen and the flame tree was threatening to flower. Peter was in secret talks with Mrs W; he had given her his word that the pigeon he had been seen with was not from the avenue. He wanted to ask the PYT from Portland to marry him and wondered if they could come to the same arrangement for the rainy season. Patrick meanwhile had never gotten over his shady reputation as a lothario albeit a sly and lazy one. Not surprisingly he had never fully developed his hunting skills he was slow to turn and quick to commit. One day he would come a cropper when he flew in to the glass pane of the sliding doors. Mistaking the reflection of Rosie sitting in the Indian rubber tree with her back to the world, for the real thing.

By the time he would see his reflection it was to late, he didn’t have the skills required to turn there was a dull thud and it was all over. His neck snapped on impact and he died instantly.

It has been a long dry spell the rains would be welcomed with just the one pair of Peregrines Poinciana Avenue should be safe this season.

The End