The sun is shining on a chilly spring day. A breeze cuts through tall grasses as 15-year-old me tromps through the wetlands on a school field trip. I am utterly miserable. We’re searching for birds–the kind our sophomore biology teacher is requiring us to identify, categorize, memorize. And I just don’t care. I’m freezing, wind burnt, starving and realizing, in fact, I hate birds.
I grew up being told they were dirty little creatures (perhaps as the reason why I wasn’t allowed to have that parakeet in elementary school). When high school rolled around and I found myself having to memorize feather patterns, draw birds in a giant bird book, and identify 15 or 20 distinct bird calls on an exam, I felt extra bitter. WHO CARES ABOUT BIRDS??? I lamented.
Oh what a difference nearly two decades makes.
Somehow, I recently became a crazy bird lady, and you can, too. Here are the steps…
Step 1. Buy and hang feeder.
Step 2. Admire feeder. Check constantly.
Complain: “Honeeeeeyyyy! Why aren’t the birds coming to my feeder?”
Honey: “They haven’t found it yet. Have patience.”
Step 3. Admire birds at feeder. Spend time gawking, taking poor quality pictures with Iphone.
Shout: “Tim look! Tim look! Birds!”
Text your spouse at work to report on how many birds can fit on the feeder at any one time.
Step 4. Feel annoyed at birds for emptying feeder every four days. Complain about how much they eat and how much they waste.
Me: “I JUST filled up that feeder!”
T: “Yeah, you wanted them to eat, didn’t you?”
Me: “Yeah, but I didn’t want them to eat so fast. And look, that blue jay just wastes food, knocking it off with his wings.”
T: “You can’t control the birds, you know.”
Me: “I know, but they could at least be conscientious eaters.”
Me: “I think I’m contributing to the bird-besity epidemic.”
Me: “Is providing all of this food de-empowering birds and encouraging them not to hunt on their own?”
T: [shakes head]
Step 5. Surveil birds. Identify seed wasters. Know bird feeder bullies (red breasted finch, I’m looking at you). Set up camera and tripod to improve photography. Trip over tripod while racing to chase off the squirrel who keeps trying to jump on feeder.
Step 6. Commune with birds. Spend time in yard enjoying the birdie chatter. Get pooped on, feel bitter. Have at least one creepy Hitchcock moment where you feel them all staring at you. Shake it off, and refill the feeder.
Step 7. Pull weeds under the feeder. Complain about messy eating to anyone who will listen.
Step 8. Realize time spent whining about birds is time that could be better spent refilling the feeder.
Random links you might like:
Stalking hummingbirds, my new profession
Flowers and flutterbys in photos
Peppermint oil: A rather useless squirrel deterrent
13 things my spring gardener self needs to know
Aerobic gardening dos and don’ts