We are in the middle of our third snowstorm in eleven days. Right now the snow is blowing sideways and the temperature is dropping. I am sitting at my dining room table watching our two bird feeders and the mounds of seed we have spread on the deck. Well, actually it is on the 15 inches of snow on the deck.
My loving spouse is in the feeding business. I think it is because he grew up during the depression and food was scarce in his household. At any rate, he is not happy unless everyone is fed. And I mean everyone! Friends, neighbors, strangers, dogs, cats, and our feathered friends the birds outside. After trying all manner of seeds he has discovered that sunflower seed is their meal of preference.
During the last two snowstorms the only birds we have been feeding were the finches, the juncos, our pair of cardinals, and four mourning doves. Yesterday, as we awaited today’s storm those little guys must have chug-a-lugged forty pounds of seed each and they ate all day long. We were sure they were bulking up for the storm just as we were stocking up our shelves with all manner of hot and cold food, just in case.
But this morning a strange phenomena is occurring right before my eyes. We have a flock of huge black grackles that never, and I mean never, come to our feeders. I think they are worm or bug eaters. Today however, over two dozen of them are struggling to get the seeds out of our small feeder and gobbling up the seed on the deck. I worried about our smaller friends the finches and the juncos because these big black guys were scaring them away. The doves could care less as they could hold their own. About once an hour I’ve gone out and shooed the big ones away hoping to give our little guys a break. I really didn’t need to worry so much as we also have one of those round caged feeders that only the little ones can enter.
When the little feeder was empty I braved the storm to bring it in to refill. My main-man bird-feeder was off to the store for more seed! I also took the rest of the bag of seed and spread it all over the deck so everyone had a chance to eat. After I replaced the feeder I watched an ecumenical miracle. As I sit here all manner of them, ALL of them, are eating together from the small feeder, the caged feeder, and the deck. No one is fighting, the small birds are eating right next to the big black birds. Even our pair of cardinals, a pair of red-winged blackbirds, and a pair of killdeer are partaking of the sunflower feast.
It is a sight to behold. I counted almost forty birds big and small. Like us mere humans, even the birds get along when disaster strikes or when our very existence is threatened. Now if we could only learn to do that all of the time what a peaceful world we might have.