Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Avian Subsidy Program

I like birds. Always have. I have had pet birds (don't right now because of the feline queen of the house -- she's an indoor only cat and locking up one excitable heavy-on-the-hunting-instincts cat with a poor terrified caged bird 24/7 doesn't seem fair for either of them). So, I feed outdoor birds and create the all-birds-all-the-time channel outside the sliding door for the cat and myself. In our house, each window is a different cat-TV channel for her to watch. The chipmunk channel is out front. Danger-speeding-cars is on the bedroom window.

This bird-feeding stuff is great in theory but the suckers are eating me out of house and home. If I've let the feeders run out, the chickadees will sit in the top of the dogwoods and cuss me out while I fill them. Of course, the chipmunks and the gray squirrels are contributing to the speedy depletion of seeds, but the birds do plenty of damage. Especially the mourning doves. I must have 20,000 living in my trees alone. And the goofy things can't find a better place to nest than the grapevine wreaths on the front and back porches. I had three nests this year. But that's another post.

Anyway, all the birds in bird-dom are out back gorging on free seeds. Well, they're seed-eaters, that's the plan. But along come the woodpeckers, and that's where I get cranky. These are bug-eating birds, darn it. So why are they eating my expensive black oil sunflower seeds? Because they're lazy, that's why. Nature loves a mooching opportunity. And not just on the feeders. I had a red-headed woodpecker wolf down half a suet cake in one sitting. But what can I do?

For now, I just suffer the cost and keep filling the feeders. But, the more I feed, the pushier they get. This morning, I looked out the bedroom window to see a downy woodpecker clinging to the side of the window and industriously pecking on my brick house. Was this a protest action? A couple of the feeders are empty. I better get out there before the natives get restless.

No comments: