Monday, January 18, 2016

Birds Are Dumb

Birds are dumb.  Squirrels too.  I am convinced that if it were not for those of us who maintain year-around bird feeders we would be living in a world without chirps and tweets.

And even with that easy-eating option these dopey diners would still starve to death if we suppliers of seed did not diligently keep these alfresco eateries fully stocked ­ – day in, day out, twenty-four seven.

For example Mars and I provide our resident tree rodents with a Squirrel Feeder Table and Chair – the dining surface of which contains an inverted metal screw onto which outrageously priced ears of dried corn (too unsuitable for cattle feed or even ethanol) are screwed.

“Could there be a cuter way of feeding squirrels? Great fun watching them gnaw away at an ear of dried corn. Keep your zoom camera handy for some great photos!”

Except at least half of the kernels never even make it to the beginning of the squirrel’s perpetually churning digestive system.  Instead these juicy yellow grain bits are found, day after day, scattered across the green metal tree-rat chair and strewn all around the ground at the base of the oak tree, which provides a home for the small, one-patron at a time, diner.

And do the other squirrels that are sitting on the ground and looking up enviously at their chow-downing drey-mate deign to partake in this indiscriminately distributed bounty?  NOOOO!

And when the chair of honor is unoccupied do they check to see what pre-plucked nuts of corn might be available for the taking before beginning the arduous chore of stripping them off of the ear?    


Does anyone except perhaps the once-or-twice a year passing duck, or the strutting murders of crows that take over our yards during their winter migrations even notice this free supply of high fructose food?    

NOOOO! And NOOOO!  (Well occasionally the big black birds actually do indulge themselves.)

And it is the same at our sunflower seed feeders where the average sparrow spews way more than he chews.  But here at least low-lying doves creep by at the end of the day to suck up some of the residue.

Then each night, no matter what, like a loyal domestic servant, this weary seed supplier dons his winter jacket, scarf, gloves, and hat and trudges through windblown sleet, snow, and bitter cold to ensure that the shelves in all of our cafeterias are fully stocked and ready to go when the first ray of sunshine illuminates that initial customer of the day.

 Birds are dumb.   Squirrels too. Or are they?

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