I put my bird feeder out early last spring. Since that time I have had countless visits from sparrows and finches. Small birds dropping by to pass the time of day and have a few seeds. Polite little fellows, if terribly nervous, who need only sense the smallest movement through the window to fly off to safety, only to return moments later.
All was going swimmingly until I, by chance, looked up at the feeder while walking down the street last Friday to find a large pigeon helping himself to beaks-full of seeds. Not that I have anything against pigeons, but I was concerned for the smaller birds chances of getting a fair shake at the feeder. Why it took the pigeons so long to discover the free chow is a mystery to me.
My first attempt to maintain the sparrows’ place was to post the signs that you see here. This prompted the appearance of a plump gray older looking pigeon on my windowsill. Wearing a waistcoat and spats, he tapped on the glass with his beak to get my attention.
“Excuse me, Friend,” he said gruffly but courteously.
“Yes,” I replied.
“It’s just that we pigeons have a bit of a problem with the signs you have posted on your lovely feeder. Essentially we find them to be discriminatory, not to mention insulting. May I ask why you would have us banned from the feeder?”.
I explained that my intention was to preserve a place for little birds at the feeder, not to discriminate against any one species of large bird.
”Is that so?” he replied in a snippy manner. “Why then did you not portray a crow, grackle or seagull on your sign? No sir, you have singled out pigeons with your warnings.”
I had to admit he had me there. All of those birds can be found in my area yet I had focused on pigeons. Just as I was about to confess my failing, he had another go at me.
“Friend, or should I say Mr. Trump, will you be building a wall around your feeder to keep us out as you seem to consider us to be illegals (no, not ailing symbols of the USA, but birdsona non grata)? No doubt you will inexplicably assume we pigeons will pay for said wall.”
Well that hit home. My visitor had me pegged as the Donald Trump of the bird world, and he was right. As I was in the process of removing the offensive signs he pointed out the difference between birds and humans. Sure enough there they were, small birds munching away on one side of the feeder while several pigeons ate from the other side. They had achieved a harmonious solution to a problem that never existed.