Over the last two months I’ve been harrassed by a HADEDA . I can hear my overseas readers saying: Huh? A what? Over to that fountain of knowledge, Wikipedia:
The hadeda ibis is found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa in open grasslands, savanna and wetlands, as well as urban parks, school fields, green corridors and large gardens . It has an extremely loud and distinctive “haa-haa-haa-de-dah” call—hence the name. The call is often heard when the birds are flying or are startled, or when the birds communicate socially, for example early in the morning in residential suburbs.
The bird cheekily flies onto my patio and proceeds to rootle around in my pot plants, with its long, sharp bill, hunting for what I’m not quite sure. In the process it chucks out clods of soil, but this is not the main reason for my irritation. What Wikipedia politely omits telling you is that the Hadeda is the messiest bird . It leaves huge, liquid splotches of white and khaki droppings whenever it visits – on the table, on the bricks – everywhere. Yuck!
I can cope with its loud raucous calls. I can live with its foraging for food in my plant pots, but using my patio as a public convenience is altogether too much. Need I tell you it times its visits while I’m absent and Chocolat, I regret to say, hides in her Cat Cave, and does nothing to defend her territory. Mind you, it is a very large bird. Chocolat will tackle small to medium sized birds up to and including doves, but clearly the Hadeda is not a viable mouthful. It’s a wise cat that knows its limitations!