Those of you who bravely subject yourselves to the ramblings contained in this blog, already know we have bird feeders ("Goldfinch Gold Mine" May 3, 2016).
You likely already know, too, that after resisting the idea of acquiring the feeders, I am the only one who looks after them ("Feeder Fodder" November 30, 2010). I have been the only one who *&%$#@*!~ looks after them for many, many, yes - that many - years!
Four seasons a year, sometimes every second day, I fill them with seed!
At considerable risk to my sanity, I fight tooth and nail with greedy squirrel intruders to protect the feeders, and my wallet, from bottomless rodent appetites.
Hey, the birds are depending on me.
Our neighbours have moved away. They never wanted a fence between our houses and, in the beginning, that was fine. After we bought dogs, however, we always wanted a fence, so the beasts could have their very own dog run.
This week, we got a fence installed.
The delighted dogs run themselves silly, even in this heat! Their kingdom has expanded, although they eat way too much of its grass!
|The new reality|
The birds that know our feeder are not used to factoring in dogs when they visit, and yesterday, the second day we could let the dogs run around the yard, Bear, our Australian Labradoodle, pounced on something and then picked it up in his mouth. My wife and son pried open his mouth to find a little swallow inside.
We scolded giddy Bear, but I could tell he was oblivious.
The bird flapped, rose for a short distance, and then landed back on the grass, her breast heaving.
We called the wonderful people at Le Nichoir, the rehab centre for songbirds.
They agreed to stay open until my son and I got there with the swallow.
We were instructed to put the bird in a covered, dark box, with something like paper, or a towel, on the bottom.
After arriving at Le Nichoir, my son filled out a form and we waited to hear whether the bird would be ok.
Catherine gave it to us straight, telling us its femur had been broken and because bird bones are hollow, there would be no way to heal it.
She told us the bird would be put down.
We asked, reasonably we thought, whether it could survive with one leg and she explained that perching birds, perch.
With one leg, it would lack sufficient grip to perch where it wanted, fall to the ground, and break its wings.
On that rather somber note, we thanked Catherine, made a donation, and left.
Our new reality, and the new reality for birds visiting our yard, is that our dogs want to swallow swallows.
My son vowed to stand by the feeders when we allow the dogs into the yard.
I suggested we hang a gong on the back deck and then bang it, to scare off birds and squirrels, each time we let the dogs into the yard.
Birds of a feather can flock together, I just hope they have a look around before they flock here.