"Commentary from the Countryside"
Thoughts on current events,
history, homesteading, preparedness, real food, and anything else I find interesting, from a cranky, middle-aged woman's common-sense perspective.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sparrows Are Liberal Democrats

I have several bird feeders just outside my window, and it's amusing to watch the mannerisms of the different types of birds.  The goldfinches are sedate, four or more sharing the feeder at the same time with a minimum of flapping and complaining.  They delicately pull one seed out of time out of the feeder mesh, and finish it before grabbing another.  The cardinals are noisy and bossy, making strafing runs at the feeder to chase everyone else away.  Only then will they stop to eat.  It's fascinating to watch them pick up a sunflower seed, crack it open, eat the nut, and spit out the shell all in one movement.  It doesn't seem that a beak should be that dexterous.  The woodpeckers are fairly anti-social, ignoring everyone else, including each other, to dig into the suet cake.  One in particular is very industrious, constantly swooping to and fro as he places nuggets of suet in the rough bark of his favorite tree. Every now and again an oriole will come by, perch on top of the hook, and sing a sweet song in payment for his supper of berry suet.

But then there's the sparrows.  A noisy, garrulous lot, running in flocks that are cheeping, chirping, squawking and complaining from sun up to sun down.  They descend on the feeders like a swarm of locusts, chasing all others away, erratically darting about and even running into the windows.  Then they stick their beaks into the feed and swipe their heads from side to side, searching for that one particular biggest, tastiest seed, flinging what they don't want over the edge.  They also jump in and scratch like chickens, throwing seed in all directions, making a mess and wasting much more than they ever actually eat.  Sometimes they're so bad the sound of the feed hitting the windows and siding is like a mini hailstorm.  Yelling at them and rapping on the window frame doesn't faze them in the least, they simply give back an impudent stare out of a black, beady eye.  It seems they're raising their young to be freeloaders, too.  I've seen a fledgling who could obviously fly and make his own way perched on the top of the suet feeder, while the adult sparrow dug through the seed, picked up a mouthful, and then hopped over and fed it to the youngster.  The young one sat there, beak open, as though entitled to whatever the other bird could pick up, and let out loud, raucous cheeps if his handout wasn't getting there fast enough.

All this behavior puts me in mind of the worst of the liberals.  So until a way is found to disenfranchise the sparrows, without simply removing the feeders and denying all the birds their dinner, we'll amuse ourselves by naming them.  (At least until we can no longer afford to fill the feeders, which with how much they waste, will happen soon!)  The skinny, bossy one is Obama, the short, ruffled looking one that wastes so much is Pelosi, the slow one with spectacle markings is Levin, the one that flies into the window all the time is Wiener, the one that falls off the feeder is Biden......this could take a while!

View from the deer blind
In the meantime, there's plenty of chores to do, trying to make a few bucks by listing a ton of stuff on ebay, scrubbing the kitchen, cutting firewood, getting out the Christmas decorations, and doing some painting.  Not to mention trying to find a few hours to get back out in search of venison for the freezer.  At least there aren't any sparrows near the deer blind!


  1. I find your birds, (and your writing) very amusing. Thanks for making me smile today!