Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Nosiree! Not MY birds!
There seems to be no way to provide seeds for little birds - mainly house finches and sparrows - without also providing meals for the resident hawk. I just hate that hawk.
Yes, I know he/she is one of God's creatures and deserves a meal now and then, but NOT MY LITTLE BIRDS! The hawk is brazen. At the front of my apartment is an inset porch about 10'x10.' On one side is the outer wall of the bedroom, the sliding doors (through which this picture was taken) separates our tiny living room from the porch, and on the left side is a bougainvillea on a lattice. So the porch is sheltered. This hawk likes to fly into the little alcove, sit on one of our porch chairs or our little fountain and read the menu. I call that brazen.
Yes, I am fascinated that he is so close, although to get a clear picture from inside the house is just not possible what with all the obstructions like aluminum slats purporting to be window shades and then the glass itself. And I know that hawks catching food is nothing more than nature in the raw. But there's nothing that says I have to like it.
And actually, there isn't much I can do about it if I want to feed the little LBJs. (LBJ is bird talk for "little brown jobs" - those nondescript and plentiful little guys who except for the white crowned sparrows are pretty boring to look at.) So my approach when the hawk shows up is to run out on the porch waving my hands at it and yelling "Not MY birds!" Yes, I probably appear like a demented old soul to anyone who doesn't know me, and to those who do know me, I've made clear that I am not demented but just can't stand to think of the hawk feeding on my LBJs. (Or worse yet, my setting them up for easy hawk pickin's).
Luckily the hawk has a lot of territory to canvass for his meals. This complex where we live has many, many acres of lawn and trees, with a 9-hole golf course going across it. The hawk doesn't limit him/herself to only my restaurant. He comes about once a week or so, and I'm sure by this time he's got the picture that I'll come flapping out at him, hopefully before he snatches breakfast or lunch.
I have a cat also, who likes to watch the LBJs and have a drool or two. But she's an inside cat so she can look all she wants. I don't normally feed the birds the way I've depicted in the photo below. The plate of seed actually sat on a box that was suspended from a wrought-iron staff in our yard. But the chain had broken, and while it was being repaired by Jerry I set the breakfast table on the sidewalk for a few minutes. I manned the camera and the view, ready to go flap at the hawk if it arrived. It didn't, thank goodness, and soon the plate was back in the air where it belonged.
Now, in re-reading this, it sounds like I might have a screw loose. I don't, really. I just have lots of interest in birds and I try to protect those interests with some possibly misplaced efforts! Shooing away a hungry hawk is like trying to shore up a dike with finger, I think.