Crazy Birds

The birds got really smart out here this spring. We have a feeder station near our den window so we can watch the birds while they eat. They know we’re watching. And they know how to find us.

It started with the blue jays. We put peanuts out for them on the platform and they just love them. They will announce their arrival from a branch in a sweet gum tree near the feeder. I’ll say to the cat, “Incoming!” so he knows to look at the window so he can see the bird. I don’t know if he ‘gets it’ or not but, I think it’s fun to say. Then the blue jay will swoop down, grab a peanut and take off with it. If I’ve run out of peanuts out there, sometimes the blue jays will sit on the roof above the window and ‘yell’ at me to let me know I’ve fallen down on my job.

I guess the doves took notes from the blue jays. They eat on the platform and also on the hanging feeders. The hanging feeders are a last resort. The doves are so big that it’s not very comfortable for them. So, if they’ve cleaned me out on the platform the doves will fly sideways so that their wings flutter against the windows to let me know. This made me think of an old Alfred Hitchock movie.

If I’ve really let it go too long without replenishing the food supply and they have all eaten all the seeds, then the sparrows, who must have learned from the doves, grab onto the window screen and look inside. I was astonished the first few times I saw this behavior. I might have called baby chickens ‘peepers’ but, this gives ‘peepers’ a different meaning entirely.

Well, maybe they aren’t so crazy after all. They sure have me trained.