I don’t know about you, but as a kid I never gave much thought to birds. Of course, in Mrs. Conklin’s first grade class we were divided into reading groups by bird color. I recall being elated when I was elevated from the Red Birdsto the Blue Birds. I guess because I was a phonetic reader. Anyway, birds were just birds, that is until Tippi Hedren was being pecked by flocks of demonic starlings.
The Birds unleashed a flutter of irrational fears in my mind. Of course, I never expected to see Godzilla or Rodan stalking the streets of New Jersey. After all, they were Tokyo’s problem and even Hollywood had to send Perry Mason, aka Raymond Burr to Japan to stop the threat. But birds were different. After all, what did we know about them? They were transients, and like the hobos who traipsed along the Jersey Central tracks, seasonal. No one in our family gave them a hoot.
All that seemed to change when I turned sixty. You see, the birds got smart. Instead of feeding on us, they got together, probably at some lush resort in the Caribbean to discuss how to live the life of Riley and make us pay for it. Where have I heard that logic lately?
It seems clear from my research that as the birds met in Latin America to plan their migration north that certain clandestine representative from the DIY stores were in attendance. Under the wings of the conventioneers it was decided that the home improvement and big box stores would carry tons of bird feed, suet blocks and most importantly a variety of bird feeders for humans to buy.
The birds had won. After all, if they had pecked all of humanity to death, who would plant acres of sunflowers and flax? No, those birdbrains knew what they were up to.
Here in North Georgia, tucked in behind our iron gates and watched over by the various block commissars our birds are being treated to the meals of their lives. In our yard alone, we have six bird feeders each with a special feed. It seems that finches cannot dine with thrushes. Of course, in summer the profusion of feeders swells to nearly ten when we add the special bottles of nectar to attract hummingbirds.
Each of our neighbors have erected multiple feeders. No feathered creature need flap its wings more than a few beats in order to sample the smorgasbord of treats that each of us have placed outside. Messy eaters that they are, seed often litters the pine straw below the feeders attracting other delightful creatures. Squirrels, rabbits and field mice must have had a say in the conspiracy as well for they are the fattest and healthiest rodents in the state.
It seems that Arthur Hitchcock got the conspiracy all wrong. Rather than bleed us to death with their pecking rampages, the birds are being fed handsomely while the stores supplying the feeders and birdseed work to hemorrhage our bank accounts.
Just a final note: if conspiracies are up your alley check out by book Whispers of Peenemünde. It’s available on Amazon.com.