Our yard is full of psychologically needy birds, and my husband is the reason.
For those of you who know this man that God gave me, you must realize he will not grow old like the rest of the pack. He informed me at his semi-retirement date, that old people are supposed to garden and watch birds. Neither of us has prepared well for this.
I do not like dirt. It has things in it that are dirty. Crawly and itchy. And then there is the problem that my thumb has black death on it not green growth.
Birds are ok I guess, but my idea of watching them stems from my childhood on the farm. Barn swallows and sparrows. Our farm birds never had to be fed. They fended for themselves. If you could choose between bugs, worms or store bought seeds from a bag, which would you have for dinner. I rest my case.
I prefer to sit at the window with a cappuccino, and watch from afar.
Enter the Semi-retired-of-course-Husband.
Bird watching is a science and undoubtedly an art.
Who knew it could be so…consuming?
There is now a little black speaker hidden in our tree, reinventing the status quo retirement expectation. What worries me are the messages the birds receive from the app on our phone, (oh, yes, there is an app for that). Who ever recorded the bird songs did not translate them. I’m pretty sure our birds are confused. I can tell by the way they carry on conversations with each other and my husband.
Should a bird do this sort of back and forth? Is it natural?
“What? I thought you said it was dinner time?”
“Isn’t it your turn to feed the kids?”
“What do you mean you’re not a Cardinals fan?”
It must be disconcerting for them when they realize they’ve been duped. Blue jays bawl us out. The ravens are quothing. Some birds swoop uncomfortably close above me and my cappuccino. Others, I fear need counseling.
Can you imagine the effect on a bird’s psyche if he follows the mating call to an inanimate object held by a human? Or what does a black speaker hanging in a tree do for a fine feathered friendship? What if it’s disrupting natural birding instincts? Are we chewing them out or praising them?
“Love that color on you.”
“I told you to stop pecking your feathers.”
What if the crow starts singing the bluebirds song or the thrush imitates the finch?
The crazy thing, if this is the summation of success, is we now have a bird paradise. Where once there was the rare bird sighting, now it’s like Alfred Hitchcock directed “The Birds” from our back yard.
They come from miles around.
“Hey, come over to the Schroeder’s.”
“It’s a riot.”
“Breakfast seeds are the best in town.”
Truly rare birds are no longer so truly rare on the Schroeder lawn.
There is an entire orchestra so loud that we can hardly talk to each other, and I’m pretty sure I sighted a black crow with a baton in his yellow claw.
We have four kinds of woodpeckers, thrush’s, finches, cardinals, not to mention those pesky blue jays, bluebirds and I’m looking for the partridge in a pear tree.
“Oh there goes the Carolina wren.”
“Could that be a white-breasted Nuthatch?”
Well one thing we have established, birds of a feather do indeed flock together. And as I watch them do so, I discover in my daily Bible reading, how often God included birds in His Word. I never considered God a bird-watcher, but the Creator always cares for His creation. And this is the sweet lesson of these bird days.
“I know all the birds of the hills…” Psalm 50:11 ESV
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles…” Isaiah 40:31 ESV
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26-27 ESV
Come visit anytime. There is only a slight admissions fee.