A few weeks ago, we sat at our friends’ home, eating dinner. Outside their window, a couple of bird feeders had attracted three beautiful yellow finches—honestly, just as if they were there to add ambience to the dinner table. We all ate our meal, ooohing and aaaahing over the yellow finches flitting daintily like tiny dancers, hired for our special entertainment.
And once when we were visiting one of Tom’s sisters, we spent a half hour looking out their dining room window at their three bird feeders—and we saw a couple of hummingbirds, three cardinals, a brilliant blue jay, a red-headed woodpecker, and a dozen or so scarlet tangers. It was like watching the nature channel on cable TV.
So why does my bird feeder attract only big, noisy, ugly birds that look like extras in a vampire movie? I don’t know if they’re blackbirds or crows or ravens or what they are. All I know is that they’re huge and rude and scare all the other birds away—plus leave enormous, pungent piles of guano (fancy name for bird poop) on our deck furniture and driveway.
I have tried different kinds of bird seed: “Song Bird!” claims one bag. I buy it, put it into the bird feeder, and suddenly I have 87 turkey vultures circling around my yard.
I have tried “Black Oil Sunflower” and “Striped Sunflower,” hoping to attract the goldfinches, cardinals, and bluejays that the bag says I will attract. Instead, ugly brown rough-legged desert buzzards swoop in, scaring away any little titmouses and nuthatches that may timidly ventured in for a snack.
I have tried millet and cracked corn and safflower blend. The result? Bad-luck albatross-type birds, disease-carrying pigeons, bossy blackbirds—cawing and swooping around the yard. What have I done to attract these large, ugly, evil birds?
Sometimes I feel like I’m in a bad Alfred Hitchcock movie as The Birds in my trees lay in wait . . . biding their time . . . waiting for the day when I let my guard down so they can take over my house, my yard, my bird feeder . . . and make it their own.
I'll admit I've been tempted to just shoot a long-horned steer, throw its rotting carcass into the yard, and let the evil birds have their way with it, ripping and tearing its flesh with their beaks and talons. The heck with those tiny little thistle seeds at $6.50 a pound.