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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Birds, part 2

It is only fair to tell you that the former post does not reflect our total experience with birds. We also have birds around our house, and they are more friendly. We have (had?) a hummingbird feeding from our front porch. At least we used to have one. I think I made a batch of glucose that was extra rich on our first experiment. When our bird discovered it he became voracious until it was gone. You may say it was more than one, and you may be right. But those cute little beasts are very territorial, and it is just as likely that all other birds were frightened off by his intimidation. You know bullying takes place among birds too.

I have discovered that it is no compliment to tell someone that he eats like a bird. If you care to insult a glutton, maybe you want to say that, but those babies really know how to chow down. When he drained our feeder of all the liquid, I quickly refilled it with a more conservative dose of glucose. We haven't seen him since then. It's possible that he died, but it seems more likely that he got used to the "candy" I put out the first time and he is boycotting the new batch.

In our back yard we have a conventional feeder with six holes to forage for the seeds. It's fun to watch when I first mount the feeder because they really go berserk. They have no daintier appetite than the hummingbirds. You're going to ask me what kind of birds, and I frankly don't know. They are mostly grey, but some of them have a little dusting of ruby feathers in the head. I figure whatever variety they are, it is the males with the color. Isn't it always the case that it is the men who must dress with class if they want to get the woman they crave? But we were talking about birds, weren't we.

When I ride my exercise bike,the birds gather on the power lines above me and stare. I can hear them thinking, "Okay, Buddie. Hurry up and finish so we can get a meal!" Every now and then a very hungry dude will grab a few seeds anyway.

We even set out a second feeder. It's much smaller and lower to the ground. The birds never eat from this one. I was concerned that the seed might mildew or rot, so I poured them out into the open feeder, and they were promptly devoured. You don't suppose that feral cat lurks for them at the more accessible feeder, do you? Nah. They sometimes come to the ground to eat fallen seeds. I'm sure the cat spooks the birds, but he can't be in our yard constantly.

But these birds (finches? wrens?) do not meet in convention as the pigeons mentioned in the former post. I'm not afraid for gang activity here. Nor do they seem to be plotting a nefarious scheme of terrorism. Instead, they (and my thinning hair) remind me of Matthew 10:29-31.

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