Thursday, September 3, 2009

If he had fingers instead of feathers

Big doings yesterday for me-a chance to accomplish a project I'd been working towards for a couple of days.....wait for it, and do NOT laugh....relocating the bird feeder on my office window to the other office window. I know, incredibly trivial and almost morbidly mundane.

Sorry it wasn't finding a cure for an infectious disease, getting Kate Gosselin a date (come to think of it, how'd you like to be that guy? No pressure, eh?) or coming up with a realistic and fiscally responsible Connecticut state budget (or not). My little distraction had the advantage of appearing to be better though it was no more than different-but America in 2009, for the most part, can no longer tell the difference and (between you and me) the birds don't really care.

Feeding the birds is a remarkably entertaining diversion that in the summer is the same as bringing a sandwich to a banquet. Maybe I should be ashamed of how I've corrupted the birds, instead of wandering through nature (I'm not sure what the official Ornithological Society description is for what the birds are doing out there when they're not pooping on our cars), these plump little lumps of feathers with beaks perch on tree branches closest to the feeder, or on the ground the six or so feet below the feeder, and wait for when the bi-ped isn't looking and eat the sunflower seeds I put out . I feed them in the winter, too, but let's face it, it's really more for me in the summer. And judging by the size of the birds, the worms in the area are doing just fine.

I'm not sure why I ended up with sunflower seeds-maybe because they were sold in the biggest bag and I just didn't want the work I've watched my wife and daughter go through at the house. I really don't remember and judging from the way the birds, all kinds from the little brown dime a dozen birds to cardinals (both female and male), the birds don't care either.

The feeder is clear plastic or something like plastic with a shelf to put the seed in and a roof over the whole thing. You put suction cups on the window, spaced just so, and then line up the two hooks that are on the suctions cups with the two holes in the feeder and that's how it sits on the glass. While the birds feed, you watch.

Transferred the feeder from one window to the other after I had eaten lunch-not that any of the birds were watching me (though that would be very creepy if I were to look out the window and they were all sitting on the tree branches watching the fork go to my mouth and then back to the dish. Glad I have venetian blinds. (what do they call them in Venice? Us blinds? Dude? (I was talking about Venice, California and you thought I meant Italy....)) and I was delighted that my innate sense of mechanical equilibrium and structural dynamics played no part in popping the suction cups off of one window and sticking them on the other one and hanging the filled feeder. So far, so good and then, so what?!!

Back inside the office, protected by the glass, I watched as, while two little birds sat butt and beak-deep in the sunflower seeds in the tray, a third bird (not to be confused with a second gunman), standing on the feeder roof above them, began pulling on the suction cup! He went it at it like a bird possessed (or in light of our current economic climate, a bird repossessed) pulling and pecking at the suction cup. I got right up to the glass (usually a sure fire 'scares the bejabbers out of 'em' maneuver) and nothing--his (her? I don't know and I don't know how to tell either) two buds downstairs did fly away and then came back, I'm not sure what 'sheepishly' looks like in a bird (or many people from around here, come to think of it) but I think they showed me, when they realized I couldn't chase them. And still he kept working on the suction cup.

I'm now making a mental movie that the Audubon Society is NOT going to like where, somehow, he successfully separates one of the suction cups from the window and the feeder and its diners plummet to the earth. Nothing Quentin Tarantinoish by any means, more Tweety and Sylvester, though I don't see a happy ending for the two birds in the seed tray in this one-reeler. Eventually I had to bang on the window which got the attention of the yellow bellied suction cupper (my own invention) and between the yelling and dramatic gesticulation, he seemed to grasp that the feed-dispenser (me) was agitated and that beating a retreat was the simplest solution. Unless with all the frantic waving I was doing he feared I was trying to take off and the movie in his head had a very tragic landing.
-bill kenny

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