i bought a bird feeder and a bag of bird seed and i found the perfect little area in my yard and i began to nurture the neighborhood birds.
it quickly got out of control. i'm now nurturing a large, assorted flock of very fat birds that go through a 20 pound bag of bird seed every two weeks.
midsummer, these fat birds learned a very harsh life lesson about complacency when the neighborhood cats found out about my yard. the flock became smaller and i felt accountable. for i was the one who let the birds get fat and complacent. i was the one who shielded them from the world so they weren't prepared to face its dangers.
have you ever had the weight of dead quail babies on your soul??
i have tried to explain to the cats that my backyard isn't their personal hunting ground, but they don't listen to reason. every few days i'll hear the birds squawking in terror so i've now gotten in the habit of going outside and personally escorting the cats out of my yard (i've also received a lot of horrifying advice about keeping cats out of my yard, the worst of which involved a pellet gun. i'm choosing at this time to not share my opinion on this) whilst giving them a sound lecture.
a couple of days ago i heard the birds squawking in terror and when i looked out the window i saw a little brown head popping out of my columbines. i made my habitual groan, shook my fist at the sky and walked out into the yard. "kitten," i began in my stern, lecturing voice... and then i stopped in my tracks.
because i wasn't lecturing a cat.
i was lecturing a falcon.
and it was in no mood for a lecture.
i wanted to take a picture of it as proof, but it flew up into my neighbor's pine tree and wouldn't come out.
not even when i held up ziggy as bait.