For the Birds

In mid-December we visited out-of-town relatives.  Uncle Jim and Aunt Jane have a spectacular view off their deck of the wooded area surrounding their house.  Uncle Jim delighted in pointing out the various species of birds that flocked to his deluxe bird feeder.  With the aid of a colorful bird guidebook, he pointed out an exotic looking woodpecker dining on the deck.   On the drive back home that evening, we talked about the feasibility of installing a bird feeder.

Cardinal - Full Size
Cardinal – Full Size (Photo credit: Orbital Joe)

Later in December we were enchanted with my sister-in-law’s new bird feeder.  Mornings we imbibed tea while we observed cardinals gathered around the large square feeder.  One male cardinal in particular appeared to rule the feeder roost.  Like a sultan overseeing his harem, “Big Red” deemed which females were bird feeder-worthy.  Only a squirrel hopping on board could oust “Big Red” from his feeder throne.

Blue Jay in Snow
Blue Jay in Snow (Photo credit: JacquiTnature)

We decided to purchase a two-tiered bird feeder and large bag of bird food that purported to attract a host of feathered friends.  We hung the green and clear feeder on a sturdy branch of an ornamental tree outside our breakfast nook and waited for the birds to dine at their new chez.  Within hours, cardinals began to flock.  We deduced the Twilight Chirp had spread the news about our bird bistro.  The Twilight Chirp alerted birds that the only cats in sight were secured behind a breakfast window. The two felines could do no more than meow, swish their tails, and gaze at the birds.  The bird feeder population thrived as more feathered diners appeared.

squirrel eating from bird feeder
squirrel eating from bird feeder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One afternoon I glanced out the window only and saw a portly creature clinging to the lower tier of the feeder.  Rocket J. Squirrel had hoisted himself up so that his derriere faced north whilst he frantically plucked food south.  I slammed the back door.  The scurrilous fellow beat a hasty retreat only after he gorged had himself on the contents of the feeder.  Subsequently, it has been an ongoing battle of squirrel sneak versus human defender of the bird feeder.  Often I observe a crowd of birds on both tiers chirping and dining.  Hours later I notice with alarming frequency squirrel tracks in the snow, leaving evidence of who done our feeder wrong.  I do not begrudge the squirrel food, but our neighbor has a feeder full of dried corn cobs for squirrels.  Yet I go forth armed with more birdseed, in the hopes the oversized rodent will not shoo the cardinal band away.

Ciao for now.