21: Greedy guts
MEANWHILE back on the balcony railing, life is carrying on as normal. All my regular bird friends are healthy and well fed as they regularly frequent the hamburger stand for a tasty snack. Pictured above is Curi and her friend sitting alongside Mum and Dad.
From the very beginning I always made it a point to feed the birds by hand so as there was a personal connection and friendship between the birds and myself.
This I believed would not only allow them to accept the food I occasionally offered, but also to continue foraging in the wild as was their natural way regardless of whether the hamburger stand was open or closed.
To simply supply a container of food would, I believed at the time, have risked them becoming complacent about their natural foraging and slip into the habit of only feeding from the trough, so to speak – like some humans do – sad to say.
During the episode with the interloper and the ensuing exile of all the birds, they continued to survive quite happily in their natural environment, even Dad, whom I do believe did not confront the interloper for the sake of a meal so much as to make a stand against this usurper of his rightful territory.
Realizing this fact, I decided to try putting out a small tray of softened bread, moistened with meat drippings as well as a small bowl of chopped up hamburger for the birds to peck at and see what happened.
This was more for me than them though, as when you are writing a story for a blog, it’s disconcerting to have to constantly stop and hand feed a bird every time it squeaks or squawks at you through the doorway.
The one problem with providing accessible food outside my door is that it attracts all sorts of greedy mouths. I began by allowing the pigeons to feed but quickly found out that they hog the trough, crowding around and eating everything in sight until there is not a scrap left for any of the other birds.
Knowing there is a ready food supply, they don’t bother foraging all that much, rather they tend to congregate on the railing waiting for me to restock the larder. To be fair, the pigeons aren’t the only ones, there are other species of birds that I won’t mention that do the same, but pigeons appear to be the worst.
This same thing happened to my neighbour at the other end of the units where she finished up having twenty or more pigeons perched on her railing, or sitting and shitting all over the floor, from daylight to dusk every day, waiting for her to throw a crust of bread.
I don’t particularly like shooing away any bird but I quickly realized that if I continued to feed the pigeons, that would be it, they would take over the balcony and the rest of the crew would suffer as a consequence.
So regrettably, the pigeons have been banned – the only problem is the pigeons don’t realize that, so there is an ongoing battle – One positive is that I get plenty of exercise, rushing about while wielding the broom.
The regular crew, including the currawongs (there are now five of them) happily share the bread and meat between them, taking a nibble here and there, then when satisfied, leave it for the next bird. One slice of bread and one chopped up hamburger could last most of the day.
It was this activity of the birds congregating around the bread and meat bowls that attracted the curiosity of a rarely seen but often heard Storm Bird, a curiosity so irresistible that it just had to investigate…
Dan’s Quote: “You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now…
_____________and nothing can stand in your way!”- Jonathon Livingston Seagull