Oh No! They’re Baaack!


©  Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

Wintertime is an excellent season to get to know your neighbors… the birds.  Buy a couple of feeders, a big bag of seed and prepare to be “up close and personal” with some flighty feathered friends.  I’ve been feeding birds for many years and it’s thoroughly enjoyable.  Takes the drab wintry blues out of the picture and gives you bragging rights at the Tuesday night bingo game.

To give you a little heads up, here are the names of some birds that visit feeders: sophisticated cardinals, brazen blue jays, bubbly chickadees, sprightly goldfinches, unassuming Carolina wrens, drabby house sparrows, lively titmouse, hot-pink purple house finches, guarded nuthatches, red-chested grosbeaks, vigilant red-bellied woodpeckers, fickle downy woodpeckers, nervous hairy woodpeckers, and the dowdy strutting mourning doves.  Fill your feeders and sit back to enjoy nature’s finest.

…err, what’s that out there?  Those darn starlings and blackbirds are back!  Aargg!

It is most frustrating to purchase feeders and seed only to peer out your kitchen window and see a flock of these nuisance birds!  They hog the seed, scare away the good birds, don’t get the hint that they’re not welcome, and they don’t take no for an answer!  I’ve tried different feeders, thinking that would at least prevent the “hogs” from gobbling up the seed.  No, they didn’t work.  I’ve yanked open the kitchen door and shooed them away…they’re back before I’m resettled in my chair.  My husband says he’ll shoot them for me…I don’t think so!  (That must be a guy thing)

Today I tried a different strategy.  I bought some scratch feed containing flecks of corn and all the trash seeds and poured a huge pile of it way, way out back, figuring they would be so busy eating that stuff, they’d leave the more expensive seed alone.  My little “guys” would get to eat in peace.  Nope.  The blackbirds put out the word that there was more seed than usual and invited more of their kin.   They are presently making short work of ALL the seed.  I’d tie my two spaniels out there if that would scare the birds off, but the dogs are so spoiled their feet would freeze and I’d look out and see them rolled over on their backs like dead cockroaches.

You know, I think those blackbirds are smart.  They have it all figured out.  They fly from yard to yard, checking out the neighborhood.  Then they leave a lone sentinel posted in a tree to check for any new additions to the bird feeders.  I refused to refill my feeders this morning and watched in horror and guilt as my favorites sat in the bushes in subzero temps waiting for me to feed them.  I peeked out several times to check for blackbirds and finally after no sightings for a few hours, I relented and refilled the seed.  I hadn’t completely thawed myself out from that exertion before I noted the brats were back.  I was steamed!  Not on my watch!  Not in my neighborhood!  Yeah, right.

Right here and now the good Lord blessed me with an attitude adjustment.  “Remember my parable of the wheat and the tares?”  (Matt. 13:24-30)

Sure, Lord, what does that have to do with blackbirds?

“Pray on it a little and you’ll see.”

After a short review, my memory revealed the facts.  This parable is about a man who worked hard all day sowing wheat in his field, and while he slept that night, his enemy came and sowed weeds among his wheat.  His servants discovered them while cultivating the wheat and told their master their discovery.  They were determined to yank out the weeds but the master told them not to do that.  He explained that if they were to pull up the weeds, the wheat would be uprooted also.  “Let them both grow together and when it is harvest time, then we’ll gather the weeds first and burn them.  The wheat will then be gathered into the barn.” 

I followed instructions and prayed about the situation a little.  The revelation came quickly:  leave the blackbirds alone and in due time, they will be taken care of by the Lord.  In the meantime, enjoy the good birds.

Got it, Lord!


3 comments on “Oh No! They’re Baaack!

  1. Oh Jeanne this made me laugh so hard! It was as if I had written this! And the shooting of the unwanted nuisances must be a guy thing – I know more than one that has the same attitude. :-/ Thanks for the laugh, and the knowledge that we are not alone in this battle!

    • Dru, So pleased you got a smile or two from my angst! I love wild birds and get so upset when they are threatened, whether by two legged or four legged “critters.” Blessings!

      • I know exactly what you mean, and I hope I didn’t upset you by finding your article amusing. It was just so much a reflection of the happenings here, I just couldn’t help but laugh.

        I, too, have gone out and chased away the blackbirds and the starlings but, like you said, they just seem to call more back when they return. At one point last spring I felt like I was on the set of “The Birds” because we had so many of them in the lawn and the trees around the house. And, like you, we have waited to put out seed, thinking they had gone away, but within minutes of filling the feeders, they were back with a vengance.

        Over the years I have ‘adopted’ some wild ‘babies’ as I call them. I have been known to go out and flap my arms around to get a hovering hawk from swooping down on my feathery kids, and have chased the neighborhood cats out of our lawn when they have been stalking my birds or my chipmunks. I had one favorite squirrel that we called ‘Stubby’ because he didn’t have a tail and I loved watching that one run around with his buds. Only problem was, I think he brought every squirrel in the neighborhood with him.

        I have prayed many years now that my ‘deer babies’ don’t get shot during hunting season. We have spent many hours just watching all of their antics, and I have cried for those that have been hit by a car and a fawn that we found laying on our neighbors front patio that we think was caught by a coyote. I have had a couple lame ones around the past six years or so that I have gotten attached to and have chased the bullies away when they go after the lame ones. We have found that the deer, like the birds, must leave a lookout because they will come in, empty the feeders, and then wait til the feeders are refilled. Even if we wait half the day, within five minutes of filling the feeders, here they all come out of the woods to empty the seed again.

        It does get expensive when you are feeding all the critters in the area, but I do love watching them. Thanks again for sharing your trials and letting me know we aren’t the only one.

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