Spring is a wonderful time for bird watchers to begin spotting and checking off the list the many bird inhabitance of the metro system of Paris. So gather your book, pencil and binoculars and lets begin.
1. Ruby Throated Door Doofis: This is one of the more common and annoying birds on the metro it is also one of the easiest to spot. As you can see, he is standing in the station, positioning himself in front of the doors so he can board the train before all others. He will not step aside to allow the other birds to disembark as he might lose his valuable positioning. His goal is to get a seat no matter the cost. You can push this bird and shout out a sarcastic “Excusez-moi” He will not budge. It is suspected that this bird was permitted to nurse of its mother's teat for a bit too long. The general rule for nursing is if your chick says- “Mother, I’d prefer to eat at Quickie Burger.” Then it is time to stop nursing.
2. The White Capped Pole Leaner: Again, a common bird that is easy to spot. In the train car by the doors you will find a pole running from floor to ceiling. This pole is installed so that many birds may gather around and hold on to it for dear life as the conductor slams on and off the brakes for no particular reason. The White Capped Pole Leaner will lean against the pole with their entire sweaty body. No amount of subtle and not-so-subtle knuckle to spine punches will dislodge this tenaciously lazy bird from the pole. As the majority of the other birds know, you should never become this intimate with a pole unless someone is shoving dollar bills in your underwear.
3. The Flushed Faced Jolly Greeter: The Flushed Faced Jolly Greeter is a carefree meadowlark of a bird; with his beverage between his knees he shouts out a “Bonjour” to all who enter. Sometimes the Flushed Faced Jolly Greeter will even offer a sip of his libation to an attractive bird or a serious bird dressed in a business suit. “Lighten up world, don’t take yourself so seriously” is his call, “Look at how happy I am”. Several hours later the Flushed Faced Jolly Greeter takes on a decidedly different demeanor. His eyes half closed, he wobbles like a weeble to the train movements. No longer the jovial, mischief making Elf he vomits on the metro floor and doesn’t seem to care about his shoes at all. The young adult of this species will eventually become the more erratic Bulbous Nosed Drunken Ranter or end up in a 12 step program giving advice to people that are happier than he is.
4. Bulbous Nosed Drunken Ranter: The Bulbous Nosed Drunken Ranter should be easy to spot and check off your list. This fellow was once a carefree meadowlark of a bird but has become an angry, resentful bird. You will find them having loud arguments with anyone that is foolish enough to make eye contact with them. The best way to flush one of these fellows out is to let it be known you are an immigrant to the country, for the Bulbous Nosed Drunken Ranter is well aware that you have stolen his job, slept with his woman and have slipped pixie dust into his pockets which are causing the sores in his mouth.
5. Urine Soaked Train Sleeper: The Urine Soaked Train Sleeper uses his unusual scent to keep the other birds away from his territory. Notice in a crowded train how the entire back half of the car is empty save for the Urine Soaked Train Sleeper. While we may pity the Urine Soaked Train Sleeper notice how he is reclining across the seat sound asleep while you battle for the pole with the White Capped Pole Leaner and defend against possible blows from the Bulbous Nosed Drunken Ranter.
There are, of course, many other birds to be spotted but this is a good start to being able to find and identity the wonderful wildlife around you as you travel by metro in Paris. Please feel free to add to the list.