I’m a patient person, I think. On second thought, patience isn’t a virtue of mine but I do strive to think rationally. On Wednesday evening I shut down the bird feeders. I felt no anger - just sad disappointment. Closing the restaurant was my only option. The tiny bit of seed and nuts left in the feeders got dumped on the ground and the suet cake feeder was removed and stored in the garage.
The birds watched me from the trees like they usually do and let me tell you, it broke my heart to see a Brown-headed Nuthatch land on an empty peanut feeder and look for Zick dough and worms. They were expecting their early evening feast because they know my routine. Oh, yeah, they know who I am. It hurt to watch the confused birds,
My bird paradise went from bad to worse during the week. Have you ever listened to over a dozen European Starling babies scream to be fed from sunrise to sunset? Tree branches were sagging with the weight of them all lined up together. Add six or seven screaming Mockingbird babies to their noise, a few dozen adult Starlings, Grackles and Mockingbirds squawking at each other and you have a riot that can be heard indoors with the windows closed. It’s hard to describe. Frankly, I can’t afford to continue to feed the boisterous, nasty gluttons. They devour the safflower seed I’ve served and will eat anything/everything.
Starling, I know you have mouths to feed, but your children have colic. Will you calm them down, please?
All of their feeders were empty by noon, every day.
An hour after I closed the restaurant I saw an adult Starling and a few offspring on the front lawn searching for grubs with the Robins. That’s the way it should be! Maybe the House Sparrows will find another haunt. They've succeeded in destroying two Carolina Wren nests on my front porch this spring. Hmmmph.
No jelly for a while. Sorry.
A very wise, good friend reminded me that the birds don’t need us. We need them. Since Wednesday, they still arrive to check out the feeders, enjoy a drink in the pond and a bath, but are slowly leaving. It’s noticeably more peaceful today.
I’ll miss them very much until I re-open in a few days or weeks.
The night before I closed the restaurant, I was leaning on the fence with my camera and saw the sudden retreat and alarm signals the birds give when the Cooper’s Hawk arrives.
All but one of the birds disappeared.
He thought he was hiding?
He left the nuts and hung under a seed feeder and waited, not knowing the hawk left quickly, after a few seconds.
He waited for a few minutes longer until other birds reappeared.
See? This is what I’ll miss!
I’ll find other things to please me, I guess.
I can’t find this species in my NC guide! Help?
I won’t lie about how I feel.
My bottom lip is protruding.
But, it’s temporary.