Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Doesn't play well with others

One of the pleasures in my life is bird watching. Richard was kind enough to build a feeding platform so that I can see it from the window where I sit all day in front of the computer. And I cobbled together a platform behind that using some sawhorses and an old sheet of plywood.

As summer draws to a close, the birds become very grumpy. Doves have become symbolic with peace, but they are not peaceful birds. Not at all. They fight with each other. A lot. They chase each other around; they hit each other with their wings. When they take off, their wings make a whistling sound. All day long I hear the whistling and the sound of wings being bashed together. Maybe these are adults chasing off young-adult babies that they no longer want hanging around (I know the feeling).

The adult cardinals are rather grumpy too. The last of this year's nestlings are now old enough to feed themselves, but they still make the annoying "feed me, feed me" cheeping sound. The adults will tolerate it for a while, and then they loose patience and drive off the youngsters.

Of course, everyone knows that hummingbirds don't get along at all. Why is it so annoying to watch other birds squabble but so much fun to watch these ornery little stinkers fight? Probably because of the amazing moves they are capable of making in the air. Fall is here, and they will head south for the winter very shortly. I will miss them when they go. So will Richard. Sometimes doesn't get much work done when they begin circling and darting and attacking each other in front of his office window.

I don't just feed the birds though. There is little fellow (who is somewhat blurry thanks to my great camera skills). We call him the "furry monster," and he sucks up seeds like a vacuum cleaner until his cheek pouches bulge, and then he races off to store them to eat later.

These fellows are nuisance. The old man I used to clean house for called them "tree rats." I do not enjoy watching them at all. Not at all. I have a live trap, and in a week or so I will start trapping and introducing them to a new home on the other side of the highway.
On occasion Richard gets out the gun. Squirrel tastes a lot like chicken. It is very good in squirrel stew.

And then finally, there is the cat bird. A bird of a different feather. She likes to perch on top of the platform, look in the window, and meow at me to let her in. I usually always get up. She has me well trained.

Often when I open the door, however, she doesn't really want in, she wants the catering service to provide food on the porch, which I usually do.

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