Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Yeah, yeah...

I know I should be getting a lot of grief over the whole "I know spring is coming" post last week. Today, after I filled the bird feeders, there were at least 20 goldfinches! They were everywhere. Handyman said "they're like rats"; he was joking. They are just the teensiest bit more yellow. But then again, they were all at my bird feeder because there isn't anything else to eat within 100 miles!! I cut down some suckers growing off an apple tree stump a couple of weeks ago and now when I look closely I can see that some little somebody has been gnawing that bark to a fare-thee-well. Everybody's hungry. The starlings have shown up too.

I have a love/hate relationship with starlings. Of course, you've heard that they are not native to North America. They were brought into New York by some idiot zealot who decided that every bird mentioned by Shakespeare should be brought to the US. So he arrived in NY with 20 starlings and let them loose. Can you believe it? Those hideous creatures blot out the sun on occasion.

So what's my love/hate? Well, I tell my kids everyone deserves to eat, even if you're ugly. But then, they don't just eat, they chase everyone else away, they eat all the food and then they try to nest in our gutters, under the gutter covers. They don't just nest in our gutters, they trap the females in the gutters and refuse to let them out. Sort of an avian version of a burka. I hear them scrabbling and fighting, INSIDE the gutter in the spring. Then the downspouts are clogged, and eggs must drown.

So Handyman usually shoots a bunch of them every spring. Today when he saw them he said, "Go back to wherever you came from." I said, "They're like illegal aliens." No papers, no birdseed. What was funny about it was that Handyman had just read about our legislature considering an illegal immigration legislation and it said that other states that had passed this legislation had seen a tremendous drop in their IA population. The illegals had literally fled those states. Those states' school populations had dropped; their welfare had lowered, etc. It didn't take ugly raids, just inhospitable environments. I don't know how that works at a birdfeeder.

At least I don't have to provide education and healthcare.


Joan said...

I like that last line... so true! :D

Tracey said...

I have the same problem with starlings and I was actually going to post a few pics on my blog tomorrow of them. Hundreds and Hundreds of them swarm and the noise is Crazy with a capital C!

But, as for spring...my Clydesdale is shedding big time!!! Not too long now ;0)