Are you going to the birds?! 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. Iíve been feeding birds for many years and itís 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. There are the:
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 natureís finest.
...Er, whatís 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, donít get the hint that theyíre not welcome, and they donít take no for an answer!
Iíve tried different feeders, thinking that would at least prevent the "hogs" from gobbling up the seed. No, they didnít work. Iíve yanked open the kitchen door and shooed them away...theyíre back before Iím resettled in my chair. My husband says heíll shoot them for me...I donít 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, theyíd leave the more expensive seed alone. My little "guys" would get to eat in peace. Nope. The black birds 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. Iíd tie my two spaniels out there if that would scare the birds off, but the dogs are so spoiled, their feet would freeze and they'd roll over on their backs like dead cockroaches.
You know, I think those black birds 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 hadnít 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 youíll 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 weíll 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.