Tuesday, June 2, 2009

For the birds

Life must be pretty sweet when you're a bird, right? You get to swoop around, free as a..... well, whatever. Enjoy the sunrise, sing a beautiful tune, feather your nest, poop on someone's head, and go to bed early. What could be better?

We have some birds in the birdhouse on our deck. Lloyd and Weston built it last year and it sat empty until late this spring, when some chickadees moved in. At least Lloyd says they are chickadees. Birds all look the same to me. Except peacocks and chickens; I can tell which ones those are.

The chickadee family consists of a mother, a father, and four babies, and they have definitely revised my opinion on the advisability of being a bird. First, the mother and father spent weeks painstakingly gathering bits of dried grass, twigs, Pottery Barn curtains and other nesting material. Then, a goodly amount of time tethered to the eggs, never even getting out for a bit of purse shopping.

Then, once the babies hatched, their carefree bird lives were OVER. All day long, every day, those poor birds are fetching food for their insatiable offspring. No lie, they are voracious. We can hear them squeaking in there for more, more, more, always more. Moths, grubs, dragonflies, you name it. Back and forth, back and forth with never a moment's rest. The second the birds sit on a branch for a breather, the squealing starts up again: Where's my aphid juice? Can I have some antennae chips? Her centipede has more legs than mine! I don't wanna eat my seeds! I want my mosquito with no blood!

I sit in my chair by the window, and oooh, I know just what those birds are thinking: 'It must be nice to be a human. You just sit around and drink coffee, haul your food home in big bags all at once, and you don't even have to sit on those damn kids. Slackers!'


Anna Jane said...

Who says you don't have to sit on kids...I've changed many a diaper while perched ever so delicately on Charlie...

The Martin Family said...

Me too, in fact, it is pretty standard as of late.