Friday, April 24, 2009
Sometimes the Circle of Life's a Bummer
I like to feed the birds. I don't have a fancy feeder or anything, I just throw a couple of handfuls of seed on the back patio. In the winter it is nice to hear their chirping when they come for a meal. In the summer, they eat the sour grapes on our old grape vines and throw them up into their fledgling's mouths, which is actually cuter than it sounds.

They serve as entertainment for our two cats during the day, who watch them from inside the house at the kitchen window as they flutter around the backyard. They help me out by keeping the mosquito population down naturally.

Since I've been feeding them, I've kept a little list of the birds I've spotted out back. There are the dozens of sparrows, the cardinals, the mockingbirds, the mourning doves, the starlings and the robins. There was also a red-tailed hawk once. For three years running we've had a northern flicker visit, and we've had a red winged blackbird, a catbird, house finches, a veery, two hummingbirds and the blue jays. Nothing spectacular, these are all fairly common birds but it is still nice to see the red cardinal in the snow while the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway drones on in the background, or hear the coo of the doves or the babble of the mockingbirds when the subway screeches by.

Not to mention the squirrel, eater of spring bulbs, digger of plants. He looks cute here but don't let that fool you, he's a hellion.

Yesterday morning I went out a left a little seed for my friends. Within 15 minutes they were here, gobbling up the food and flying around, chirping in the sunshine.

Then I heard an awful sound. I knew it was one of the jays. Had to be. They've been bullying the other birds for the seed lately and I wondered if they were bullying again.

There was bullying, but this time it was the jays being bullied. One had been caught by the stray ginger tabby that terrorizes the neighborhood yards, along with several other strays. This particular cat belonged to neighbors who decided they couldn't care for it anymore. The best way of relinquishing their responsibility for this feline was to just let it out and never let it back in. Why this was the most humane way to deal with an unwanted pet is beyond me.

So this crazy lady (me) ran out and tried intervening on behalf of the jay, breakfast banana still in hand. By the time I got close, the cat ran off, limp bird in its mouth. I was too late, I'm afraid.


Blogger Andie said...

awe, poor birdie

Anonymous Mom said...

Poor widdle birdie

Blogger CatMar said...

Those mean cats!!!

Anonymous Vikki said...

Yeah, that circle of life business can be a downer.

In other news, that is one of the fattest squirrels I've ever seen!

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