My Backyard Bird Feeder

My mom’s dad had a sister, Jennie, who was actually named after the famous singer – Jennie Lind – the Swedish Nightingale.  He called her his “Jennie Wren”.  I’m not sure exactly why except that she was small and tidy and cheerful.  When I started setting up bird feeders, I was hoping to have lots of wrens and other songbirds come to visit.

I haven’t been disappointed.  After some experimentation, I found the kind of feed that we all enjoyed.  The birds ate it and it was minimum effort for me.  Depending on the season, I could fill up the feeder twice a week or every other week.

I love watching the birds come to visit my yard.  They hop around, pecking at the seed and gossiping with each other – probably over the state of the economy and the effect that the tariffs will have on bird seed.

The squirrels will come and hang upside down gobbling down the bird seed and spilling at least half of it on the ground so that more birds can eat at the same time.  They all get along fairly well with each other.

That is, they did until just this last week.  Someone blabbed to the crows about this nice little eatery and we’ve been having 15 to 20 crows coming to feed at my bird feeder.  They are loud, bossy, and arrogant!  They push each other off the feeder and scare off the smaller birds.  I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that they have gang tattoos hidden under their feathers and I expect one of them to come with a bandanna around its head or it’s wing!

The bird feeder is just outside my back door which has a full-length glass pane in it so I can watch the birds from my office desk.  More importantly, my cats can watch the birds.  The cats have a good relationship with the small song birds, woodpeckers, and doves.  The birds will hop around the yard, teasing the cats and the cats will growl back at the birds – both sides knowing that there isn’t anything they can do about each other.  The birds just fly away when the cats come out and the cats know they can’t catch the birds.

These crows, however, scare both the cats and me!  There are so many of them and they are so loud.  I’m starting to feel like the mayor of Los Angeles or maybe Tijuana or Nogales or even New York City – just on a smaller scale!  As soon as I open the door to speak to them, they all fly off, waiting on the fence or in the trees until I’m not around and then they all come back.  They don’t listen to a word I say, and I’ve prepared some pretty good speeches.

They don’t stay very long at any one time – maybe five to ten minutes – but they sure make an impact on my backyard!  One or two leaders will fly in like a 747 jet and pretty soon, the others will come in and we’ll have the whole family reunion!  About five minutes later, there will be this loud flutter sound and they all leave.  You’d think that the feeder police were coming!

The other problem that I’m having is my feeder.  It’s one of those metal poles with an arm that you can hang a feeder on.  With the rain and wind, we’ve had, my pole is listing to the side.  The other day, I came home, and the feeder was resting on the ground.  I straightened it back up but a week later it’s starting to go down again.

The squirrels jump from the tree to the pole and that doesn’t help much but those heavy crows sitting on the feeder weigh it down as well.  It’s possible that we could put them all on a diet!

If any of you know of a non-political way to either integrate the crows with the song birds or to lure them away – maybe to a non-song bird feeder – I’d be delighted to hear of it.

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