Our Own Eco-System

Our daughter convinced us to get a bird feeder right before Spring. Her stated argument for a bird feeder was to watch the pretty birds. All of us familiar with her bird catching and training theoryslashplan knew that this was a play to lure birds with food so that she could capture them with string around a leg and then train them to do at a minimum dookie in the yards of people she did not like. Way back in the day when we lived on Ferris’s campus this plan made a lot of sense as there were a lot of people she did not like, here not so much.

Still the thought of having birds made sense to the adults who thinking and hoping that having birds might cut down on the insect problem of last year. When we first moved in there were A LOT of bugs. I have pictures of one of my legs after a night of sleep where mosquitos attacked it, not pretty. Plus the birds, if any arrived, would be cool to watch and get some good pictures.

How wrong we were. First, the birds have arrived. In droves. You would think that we are the only bird feeder in the region with the number of birds that show up when the bird feeder is full. Blue jays, cardinals, robins, pigeons, and a whole host of other birds. We even bought a bird guide and began to circle all of the birds we have seen. But we started to get worried when we noticed that the pigeons were looking fat and seemed to have trouble launching off the deck. With a little bit of research we resumed feeding, seems Mother Nature takes care of fat pigeons in one of several ways.

Then we noticed a new issue, our birdfeeder was emptying in a single day. If you feed birds you know it can get expensive and we were not in the mood to add a third child to feed to our budget. The culprits not squirrels but three large blue jays. As a group they would empty out the contents of the feeder to get to the seed and peanuts they wanted. Our deck and the ground around the feeder littered with seed we were pissed.

And that is when we saw the eco-system in action. Three chipmunks, maybe four, who played hide-n-seek on our almost 2 acres began to approach the deck. They along with the fat pigeons ate the seed on the ground and under the deck. Smaller birds took care of the seed on the deck or the seed left in the feeder.

Today, the blue jays knock the seed out, the chipmunks wander over and around the deck like tiny furry vacuums picking up seed, smaller birds of all colors get the seed out of the feeder and off of the deck, and the six fat pigeons practically live under the deck until someone steps outside and then they fly off to the nearest tree. All in all a good way to view wildlife and they have cut down on the insect problem a lot. Oh and our girl has taken to enjoying watching them, plans of capture and training have fallen to the way side….for now.


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