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Getting bottles for a song in the DTES, or vice versa

May 31, 2016
A little finch-like bird goes out on a limb (or the next best thing).

A DTES bird went out on a limb (or the next best thing) Monday morning to sing for me.

Lucky for me Monday, May 30, was time for another downtown condo bottle pickup. Meaning that I was up at 5:30 a.m., breakfasting by 6 a.m. and bicycling toward the Downtown Eastside by 7:15 a.m.

Sleeping, as I do in a Fairview parkade, it was no surprise that I awoke to the refreshing sound of birds singing. The Fairview neighbourhood is full to bursting with melodious songbirds—as well as the more fowl cawing, croaking and cooing varieties.

It did surprise me however, when I was greeted by even more birdsong when I arrived at my destination in the Downtown Eastside and began to bag-up the substantial backlog of returnable beverage containers generously put aside for me, .

I should’ve d known better. All kinds of birds find all kinds of good places to live all over Vancouver—like the little puffball that I took at first for a black-capped chickadee but was probably a house sparrow.

For almost the entire time that I was stuffing returnables into construction-weight garbage bags—clinking glass wine and beer bottles, squishing plastic water and juice containers and crunching aluminum pop and beer cans—this little bird found various perches opposite from me in the alley and chirped and chirped and chirped—absolutely singing its little heart out.

Anyway, I took it for singing and I enjoyed it immensely. For all I know the little bird was actually hectoring me to keep the racket down. The funny thing is that it nearly cancelled out all the noise that I was making.

It really is a wonder how such a big sound can come out of such a tiny body. Bose could learn a thing or two about projection from the birds of Vancouver. Car manufacturers too, I bet.

I’d take a neighbourhood full of songbirds over one Cummins’ diesel engine any day. Click the image to enlarge it.

  1. Good blog. What is going on Vancouver crows though? Something is up.



    • Thanks. I agree about the crows, in so much as they seem extra, extra aggressive this year. I take this as a sign that the crow population is perhaps too large and stressed by competition for resources — amongst crows and with other birds and urban critters.


  2. I particularly like how Little Bird serenaded you from a repurposed piece of 2×4 that looks suspiciously like an old surveillance camera mount or something.


  3. Slowcrow permalink

    Could of been a drone. Cell towers and all that activity might be affecting more than some people that are sensitive…….. I agree tho, another great post.


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