I keep several bird feeders in the backyard to attract birds on the theory that they will eat bugs. The bugs I want them to eat are the ones that tend to dine on my vegetables. I have always assumed the birds know that and adjust their eating habits accordingly. I have not seen any bugs eating away at my vegetable garden lately so I guess the birds are on top of things. It works out pretty well except my bird seed budget is getting pretty expensive.
The problem with birds is that they talk amongst themselves. A lot. No sooner do I fill up the feeders than the “network” is abuzz. Those chirping sounds aren’t for our listening pleasure you know. They are bird talk for the location of the most food or maybe the best nesting trees. As it stands right now, I know I have four nests in my yard. Two are occupied, one is abandoned for now, and the fourth one is too high for me to see. There are three bird feeders out there and I’ll eventually put up a suet cake and maybe a bird house or two.
You know, though, we live in a sad world. I was sitting at my kitchen table one morning, coffee in hand, gazing out at the back yard watching Stanley the Squirrel root around in my garden. I happened to notice that the largest of the bird feeders was missing. It is a little miniature house that sits on a stand about seven or eight feet in the air. I surmised that my wife must have put it in the mini-barn on the expectation of rain. I thought it odd that the other bird feeders were still in place. Well, I wandered over to the barn to put it back in its rightful place before the morning breakfast rush. Have you ever seen birds that show up expecting breakfast and finding none? Remember Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds?” Need I say anything else?
I got to the barn only to find the feeder was not there! I came to the quick conclusion that it had been taken during the night by some neighborhood thugs. I was enraged! I had bought that thing as a present for my wife and now some punks had ruined my morning. This was terrible! The birds will starve or, at worst, attack and destroy my house. The only solution was to make a fast trip to the store and get another feeder before we see an Alfred Hitchcock remake right there and then.
I went into the house and told my bride what had happened. She got that sweet smile on her face that she has whenever she gets “patient” with me. “Honey,” she said, “I took it off the pole last night and brought it inside in case of rain. See, there it is on the fireplace.”
Harrumph. She ruined a perfectly good bad mood. Well, that’s just fine.