15 January 2010

The Birds of Fairway

I was standing in the organic-food section of the Red Hook Fairway, when I heard a bird tweeting. "I hear a bird," I said to The Wife. Being a good wife, she ignored me. Nutty husband. Hears bird in grocery stores.

Something definitely was twittering. But it was the organic section. Maybe it was a machine, one of those kind that are supposed to put you at peace and send you to blissful rest. Someone was offering a demonstration of the device.

But I couldn't find a machine. And the twirps sounded too authentic. What's more every time I zoned in on the bird, the source of the sound changes. It was here. It was there. "There's a bird in here," I said. A Fairway clerk busy sorting a shelf stared at me blankly. Crazy customer. There are no birds in Fairway.

The Wife was taking a long time picking out her purchases, so I had time to slowly roam the aisles, following the cheeps. They got louder near the center aisle, by the environmentally friendly toilet paper. I looked up to the lighting fixtures and duct work (pictured above) There the buggers were! Two little birds, having a fine time perched above the organic goods. I saw them. They saw me. They flew away, before I could take their picture.

Now they knew I was after them, so they shut up. No more tweeting. They were silent as the grave. I trod silently, looking for them. They gave no aural hints of their location. But through patience, I discovered one of them once again. I aimed. I shot.

A couple minutes later, I found the other and took a much better picture of him (or her). The flash sent the fowl flying away.

There's a set of metal loading doors near the organic section. I have to imagine the birds flew in that way. And it must be impossible to coax them out. They're not pets. Look like ordinary birds.


Bull said...

All big box stores, and this is a big box store, have birds in the rafters. Leave the city and go to a Wal-mart once and a while and you'll know.

Beth in the Bronx said...

Bull is right (although somewhat unkind). I have even seen birds in larger stores, such as a Lowe's in New Jersey. But I have also seen them in the small A&P in my neighborhood. I think they fly in when the loading area doors are open.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I'm not saying the birds are unusual. I'm just saying I saw them. And, however common the occurrence, birds inside a store is still surreal experience.

Teri Rogers said...

Several years ago during our family's failed suburban experiment, I noticed these birds in a NJ Costco. I guess I overempathized (I was a struggling writer mom "trapped" in my own Big Box) because I couldn't bear to shop at Costco anymore, not even for the paper towels and diapers.

Teri Rogers