Let me tell you the tale of the tailless Olive Thrush:
A few days ago my neighbour told of an Olive Thrush that had flown about their kitchen in a state of panic. “I don’t know why,” he said, “for we often get them coming indoors to peck at the dog food just inside the door.” This one might have been caught off-guard – who can tell? It flew around too high to make it through the door, knocking into things and fluttering its wings when caught off-balance. With the best of intentions, my neighbours eventually managed to shoo it out of the door. “As it flew out, it dropped its tail feathers!”
Olive Thrushes are seen regularly in our garden and have enjoyed a good breeding season – several of their spotted offspring have been brave enough to come and feed on their own. Doubtless their parents are already rearing another brood. So I have kept an eye out for the tailless one.
There it was one morning, feeding a youngster at the base of the tree close to where I was sitting! I was curious to see whether or not it could fly sans a tail: it fluttered high enough to peck at the cut apples; I saw it bathing in the raised bird bath behind me; and at last saw it flying across the garden with food in its beak – on its way to feed the chick perhaps.
Some days have passed since the ‘kitchen incident’ and now I can clearly see the start of new tail feathers growing: