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Westside senior runs a-fowl of the avian community

Strange bird events discomfit teen columnist


Recently, I’ve been noticing that a lot of odd things seem to be happening to me involving birds.

I don’t mean that Hitchcock’s “The Birds” horror flick is finally becoming a reality, just that birds and I seem to have been experiencing some strange encounters.

For example, I was driving along the freeway the other day remarking to myself what a beautiful day God had created. The sun was shining, my windows were down, the radio was up — it was glorious. I then noticed a flock of uniquely colored birds flying overhead.Ruppert

Just as I was reveling in the beauty of the moment, two of the birds hit my windshield leaving parts of their internal organs behind as souvenirs. It took me completely off guard and, out of instinct, I started pulling over to see if I could begin performing emergency medical assistance in a desperate attempt to save the birds’ lives.

However, as I began slowing down, a very angry semi-truck just about murdered his horn reminding me that I was, indeed, on the freeway. And a freeway is not the ideal place for a bird-saving pit stop.

Last week, I was walking to the bathroom during play rehearsal when I came upon some ducks congregating near a puddle in the rain. One was quacking quite a lot and not moving at all. I went with the obvious and decided he must have his foot caught on something in the puddle.

So, naturally, I crept up to him, bent down and picked him up. It did not go the way I had planned. He freaked out, screaming quacks and furiously flapping his wings in my face while his duck family waddled away for safety. This particular encounter was simultaneously one of the most frightening and exciting moments of my life.

The fun does not stop there, however. A few days ago I was walking to my friend’s house when a bird suddenly dropped dead out of the sky. It came out of nowhere and landed right in front of me. I looked up — no other birds to be seen. He wasn’t moving in the slightest, but I tried to keep the hope that there might’ve still been some fight left in him.A movie poster offers a taste of the avian horrors in Hitchcock's iconic 1963 film, 'The Birds.'

So, I grabbed a stick out of someone’s front yard and gently poked him. Sadly, he had passed. Believing that no creature should be without a proper burial, I picked him up (in retrospect, it probably wasn’t the best idea to pick him up with my hands — bad call on my part), carried him to the yard I had stolen the stick from, replaced the stick and set him among the homeowner’s flower bed (I didn’t have a shovel on me so this was the best I could come up with).

I could go on about birds, but I think you’ve probably had your fill for today. Incidentally, there’s most likely no way this information relates to a deeper meaning that could be applied in your own life, but birds have been plaguing my mind recently. So, there you have it. Do with this what you will.

Jayne Ruppert is a senior at Westside Christian High School. She writes a monthly column for the Lake Oswego Review and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Learn more

There are almost 400 bird species that use Oregon “for some part of their life cycle,” more than 200 of them traveling through the Portland metropolitan region annually, according to the Audubon Society of Portland’s website. The state ranks fifth in the country for bird diversity. Almost 25 percent of bird species in Oregon are suffering long-term declines.

For more information, visit audubonportland.org.




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