Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Calling All Birds

When we signed the lease for our new apartment, the one thing we liked about it was the small birch tree right outside our living room window. Besides being one of our favorite types of trees, it added beauty to the dull landscaping, provided a bit of privacy for us, and made a nice rest stop for birds.

However, months later, the property was sold. Our new landlord didn’t share our perspective and promptly cut down the tree. Had the bushes around the building been so easy to remove, they’d probably be gone, too.

So we went shopping. We couldn’t replace the privacy or beauty of the tree, but we could do something for the birds. We bought a lovely ceramic arts-and-crafts style bird feeder for starters, along with a special blend of seed to attract songbirds, and placed it just outside our living room window. We hear songbirds all the time, but rarely see them and haven’t yet been able to identify what we’re hearing. We expected the feeder to entice a flurry of activity (and, selfishly, we expected to be endlessly entertained by the feathered flurry).

It hasn’t. We haven’t.

The other day as I sat down at the computer (the scene the birds can see if they look through the living room window from the feeder), three birds passed by at feeder level and I waited to see if they would turn back to light on the feeder. This, I thought, could be the beginning of our vision come true.

Before the birds were out of my view, though, I noticed a Siamese cat following behind. In the air—as if on invisible wings. As if s/he was just another bird.

Lots of felines roam their own yards in this neighborhood, but I’d never seen this one before. S/he didn’t live here. Was our feeder attracting the wrong element? Would it make us accomplices to feline hunting sprees? Our birch tree substitute may have to become a mere objet d’art.


[Scarlet Tanager pic by Alan Murphy. Tough-guy Siamese/Snowshoe cat is available for adoption on Petfinder.]

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