JUNK BIRDS

My dad raised my brother and me with an appreciation of birds. Roger took it to heart and as anyone who knows him knows – he knows more about birds than 95% of the people you’ll ever know.

I know far less, but I can hold my own against the average person. For instance, last week a semi-bird lover was telling me about the robin-sized (but not robin) coal-black birds with the red breasts (but much brighter than a robin’s breast) that were hanging around her yard. She said they had beautiful coloring and would need to get help identifying them. As I listened to her description and thought about it, I was able to identify them sight unseen as rose-breasted grosbeaks which are indeed robin-sized, with a bright red splash of color on their breasts and are beautiful and would be prevalent in the area of her out-of-state home.

So I don’t have an over-abundance of knowledge about birds, but I know some and when I have a question, I do have a brother.

All that to say that I like birds. I have already posted about living in Michigan and taming the chickadees and gold finches to sit on our hands and this past winter I had a small, but welcomed variety of birds at my backyard birdfeeder. (Juncos, chickadees, cardinals, house finches, nuthatches, etc.) Oh, by the way, I also know to fill my birdfeeder with sunflower seed and not commercial bird seed if I want “good” birds.

Because I don’t like junk birds. At all.  Junk birds are birds like crows, starlings and grackles …

Ahhhh … grackles.

If ever I felt like I was part of Daphne du Maurier’s classic “The Birds” (later made into a Hitchcock movie) it is when the grackles come to nest in the tree right outside my home office window. This is the fourth year they’ve been here.  Last year on the week the babies hatched, I literally wanted to jump out the window, grab the tree and shake. But alas, the nest is too high and I can’t reach it. Their “noise” sounds like fingernails scraping on a blackboard and they continuously chatter … just goes on and on. When I go outside, the adults birds flit around me yakking, telling me that its their yard, not mine.  Not true. (Unless, THEY want to mow the lawn – then I’ll reconsider.)

Well, they’re back and this year they’ve sunk to a new low. First, they immediately shoved out last year’s nest and began building their new nest.

My tree, blemished by used kleenex

And, I kid you not, they are doing so with junk from the trash can across the street. I first noticed this one day as I watched the mother grackle fly over and perch on the rim of the can, grab a discarded ice cream wrapper in her beak, fly back across the street and stuff the garbage in MY tree.

Today it is someone’s used kleenex. (I am not making this up, I watched them do this.)

So, not only do I have annoying, chattering junk birds seven feet from my desk, but I literally have junk in my otherwise, perfectly well-shaped and beautiful tree.

I have nothing more to say about this, but can you hear me scream?

Ok, I am perfectly aware that this is not the hugest problem in the entire world, but IT IS A VERY ANNOYING DISTRACTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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