Saturday, June 18, 2016

Backyard Drama

House Finch(es?)
All the bird feeders are full, it's lovely weather, God's in his heaven, all's right with the world.  No, that's from The year's at the Spring -- today it's more like What is so rare as a day in June?

Carolina Wren
 This window provides endless entertainment -- goldfinch(es?),  cardinals, lovely nuthatch(es?), the bossy blue jay who scares everyone else up into the willow tree but he's worth it.  And I won't have to refill the feeders for at least a week, which is just as well -- these days I don't go out there alone for fear of falling.


Squawk squawk

But then -- cue creepy organ music -- for the first time I can remember, big  birds swoop in.   I don't resent the flicker -- so decorative.  But the grackles come in droves, scare everyone else away and gorge on everything in sight.  And then the starlings bring some of the most unappealing babies you ever saw, with such continuous squawking I have to close the window.

     Yelling and fighting, those Disney villains take no time at all to empty everything but the peanut feeder -- for some reason they can't seem to get very far with that one.  When they leave, the sparrows zip in.  Their bills aren't really right for nuts but they try.  For the first time I take a  video, so you can share nine seconds of the excitement.

 Pay attention to the southwest corner of the feeder.

That's where the tragedy is -- I took a final still after the others flew off.

Yes, that ball of fluff in the lower left was a dead sparrow.  Judging from the excitement half an hour before, I'd say it was accidentally pecked to death.  And the big question was -- what to do? No way I could go out there alone without getting in trouble. 

Well, quick windup -- landmark event.  For the first time ever (if I remember right, always uncertain these days) I phoned for help.  Amy came over and brushed aside my apologies with "It's okay, I dispose of cat shit all the time." 

I can't tell you what she did, as I did not watch.  But then we refilled the feeders, and I'm back in business.  I may be pretty much restricted to this chair lately, but you can't say there isn't plenty of drama in my world.


  1. I've always thought that grackles are the epitome of villains. They just look evil!

  2. Nature is red in tooth, claw, and beak, as we know. But I'm sorry about your sparrow. (Cold comfort, but at least it looks as if it was already dead on the little video you shot. In other words, the actual pecking-to-death happened off camera.)

    And congratulations on shooting and posting the video, BTW. As usual, you're well ahead of me on the tech curve, even though I'm almost 30 years younger.

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