Because there were so brilliantly noisy, and ever-present, and because they were kind enough to build their colony of hanging nests (referred to as the “testicles of God” by the ineffably epithetic RB) right in the garden at Aquiares, on the upper reaches of a beautiful ceiba (kapok) tree, I have become a devout aficionado of Montezuma oropendolas, with all the excessive piety of a recent convert.
First I had to learn to spell their name properly: it is one word, oropendOla, not oropendUla, as I had always assumed, based on the hanging nature of their nests. (from the Latin, pendulus, pendere.)
Then I wanted to get an oropendola song (“a conversational bubbling followed by loud gurgles”) on my phone to use as a ringtone, and to that end I downloaded a couple of free birdsong apps. Neither of them had oropendola songs, and in fact they seemed pretty useless. But most disturbing: having opened the Bird Sound App, an ad kept appearing at the top of the screen, and also in the middle, for “The Gentle Goodbye….Let us give your pet a peaceful death - At-Home- Pet - Euthanasia.” Seriously. This ad kept appearing and re-appearing.
I just have to think it is very creepy. Either my phone (i.e. Google/ Big Brother) knows that Bruno is demented and incontinent, and there seems no reason why my phone should know this, OR, this is just a random ad that strikes a rather painful chord here. In which case, it is a very odd choice for a random ad. What if I have no pet? What if my pet is alive and well? What if I don’t believe in euthanasia? Is there some reason why someone interested in bird sounds would also be seeking to kill her dog? There are so many reasons why this ad is a bad idea.
So for now, my ringtone is a loon.
Photo by Roger Bruce.