Monday, 26 June 2017

Hanging Out The Closed Sign

It's Poetry Monday again (sheesh, where did THAT week go?) and I think it's also time for another bird-y update.

I hope my poem cover both bases.

Some background to help it make sense:

- I started putting a small bird feeder out in April, following a late snowstorm.
- I bought a second feeder in May, which I filled with the caviar of bird seed--Favourite Finch seed, at a scary price per bag, because I wanted to attract the tiny, cute birdies.
- Within two weeks I was filling that feeder every day, and by noon it was empty. For a few days, I filled it twice a day. Please note that a bag of Favourite Finch seed contains enough seed for only three and a half refills.
- Finally, I sat down and added up the cost of the seed, the fact that several pushy blackbirds/grackles were getting the lion's share of it, the finches were nowhere to be seen, a couple of pigeons had joined the eight (yes, eight) doves in the back yard to eat up the seed that spilled out when the blackbirds/grackles ate in their very messy way, plus the fact that we are not made of money, nor do we have a money tree in our back yard ...and came up with an indisputable fact: I had to stop. Either stop feeding them altogether, stop putting increasing amounts of seed out, or stop using the expensive seed.
- I bought a large bag of mixed seed which was much cheaper, and started cutting back the amount I put out each day. I am now down to one-third cup of mixed seed daily, sprinkled on the back yard because the only birds that still hang around are the doves and pigeons. And the occasional sparrow.
- Within another week, the free buffet will have gradually been pared back to zero. The remaining birds probably will, too. 

And now my poem, drawn from the crucible of hard, hard experience in the bird-feeding department ...


It's A Slippery Slope, All Right, And I Have Hit Bottom

It starts with: Aw, birdies!! So cute and so sweet!
So hungry, you poor things! Here's something to eat!

And then it's: My, my, little birds, so voracious!
I'll buy a new feeder that's much more capacious!

Progresses to: Dang it, we need more bird feed ...
Didn't we just buy some? And yet we still need ...

And now it's: Okay, birds, the free ride is over!
The living's been great; you've all been "in clover";

But birdies, my wallet--it's flat as a pancake;
This restaurant is closed, though it makes my poor heart ache.

It's summer, dear birdies; there's food everywhere.
You'll get along fine if the feeder's not there.

I'll miss your sweet faces and quick little feets,
Your beady black eyes and your stabbity beaks.

Have a good summer, and raise up your young,
And come back to visit when autumn has sprung.

*****

Whew! Rhyming is hard work!

Have a good week, folks. Or at least don't hit bottom :)

On behalf of my feathered brethren, I would just like to say that we are not amused. 

NOT. AMUSED.

Do visit Diane and Delores to see what they've posted for Poetry Monday, if you are so inclined, and feel free to leave a poem in the comments or link to your blog!


(Photo courtesy of Pixabay)




26 comments:

  1. Love your poem. Smiling broadly. And wincing in rueful recognition. I had a pigeon standing on my foot today while I fed a King Parrot. And I won't admit just how much seed and how many apples we get through. It is winter here though...

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    1. It seems like a heartless thing to do, to stop feeding them after they were so happy guzzling down "the good stuff" but I'm sure they'll find natural sources ... I think ... and winter is a different story. Although I've read that if one doesn't feed them in the fall, they will migrate to a warmer place. I'm truly torn as to what to do. The deep snow makes it absolutely crucial that if we start feeding, we keep feeding. It's expensive, though!

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  2. You told the tale well. And yes, rhyming is hard....VERY hard. You did a great job.

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    1. I have to admit, I cheated and looked up rhyming words on the internetz ... :)

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  3. My husband, a long time feeder of birds (now down to only 5 feeders) always complains that the wrong type birds are taking the food from the containers. He thinks they should know better. I told him to put up signs. Then at night the raccoons come and empty what is left. Every creature needs to eat.

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    1. "Down to only 5 feeders" ... hah! And yes, everybody has to eat. That's what I kept telling myself.

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  4. You've had a common bird feeding experience. Try to find a feeder that the big baddies cannot get into.

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    1. But the big baddies have to eat, too! It's a conundrum!!

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  5. Hahahaha! . . .beady black eyes and your stabbity beaks . . .
    LOVE THIS!!!
    And we've hung out the closed sign, too. You're on your own for summer!

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    1. I have to thank my daughter for the word "stabbity"!! The town officials are trying to get people to stop feeding wildlife of all kinds. Even made a bylaw. I don't THINK it applies to birds, but it's actually an offense to feed deer. I wondered if we should pull out all our bushes and trees :)

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    2. Yes. Definitely pull out the shrubberies. I mean, what good are they? Apart from shade, beauty and fresh air . . . ;)

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  6. My dad, who was quite the outdoorsman, did caution me against feeding wild animals. He said that if they come to rely on you for their food, they'll neglect their other methods of feeding themselves, and in some cases, will habituate to contact with humans, not all of whom will turn out to be so benevolent.
    I only caught him feeding the squirrels once...

    I did like your poem, and your concern for the birds. It doesn't snow here, so the birds generally have something to eat all year. We have considered getting a hummingbird feeder, and now that our friend Zsuzs has all of her plants and umbrellas set up in our back yard, perhaps we will. First I'll have to give the cat a stern talking to, as she murdered a couple of little birds last week...

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. Yeah ... cats. You have to be so careful with a feeder location if there are cats around. And when are there not??

      Lol on your father feeding the squirrels!

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  7. Great poem. Why don't you plant a money tree in your backyard? That's what I'm going to do if it ever stops raining.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I keep looking for one at the nurseries but no luck so far. Let me know if you find one!

      Has your rain not stopped yet?? Yeesh.

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  8. HAHA! I love your poem. I've learned this lesson, too, a long time ago. We all do at some point. Now we put out a feeder that the bigger birds can't get to. They have to settle for whatever the little ones are dropping. I swear I hear the little ones chirping "Who's the bully now, eh?" LOL

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    1. Hah- I love it! The thing is, I feel sorry for the big ones, too ...

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  9. It is summer after all. What a delightful poem, each line entwined with the next in embrace, well done. Warm greetings!

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    1. Greetings, Blogoratti, and thanks for your kind words!

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  10. I love your poem, and "stabbity" is my new favourite word. Thanks for the chuckles! :-)

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    1. Hah - stabbity is my daughter's word and I love it too!

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  11. I can definitely identify with this. We've pared back on our bird feeding too, because so much of what we get is just pigeons. I feel for the pigeons, but enough is enough, you know? (And the neighbors hate them because they perch on their balcony railing and leave behind a mess.) Over time we've learned to use certain feeders and certain foods, to minimize pigeons and maximize the other birds.

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    1. That's probably the route we'll take as well. I do fee badly for the less intriguing birds, but feeding them increases their rate of reproduction, so it's a never ending loop!

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  12. What a delightful poem! As you know, we like birds too. Only have hummingbird feeders though. Other birds' diets extend well beyond nectar to bugs and seeds, which this property provides in abundance. We do try to attract nesting birds by only allowing lazy cats to visit. Birds go through hell trying to get even one or two offspring to survive. They are determined, fearless things and sometimes downright stabbity, but I like them (and I wanted to use that fun word).

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    1. In their defense, their beaks are their only defense!! And truly, there are some cats that couldn't care less about catching birds ... I like the lazy cats :)

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