This morning I handled a few domestic chores. These included checking the oil in the car as well as air pressure and giving the old Ford a wash. But I failed to use a list, so when I came inside to tackle some cyber chores, I saw an empty feeder hanging in the burning bush outside my window. I forgot to put out suet for the birds. I was more than a few days delinquent, and being late isn’t the sort of thing songbirds tolerate. I know this because of the signage. Let a feeder remain empty 36 hours and the notices are plastered for God and all to see.

Jack’s a Twit!
Un-Generous Jack
Lives Here!
Get The Lard Out Jack!

Settling into my chair, knowing I was on thin ice, a vision of organized, radicalized, communized cardinals, chickadees and ungrateful nuthatches came to mind. And though the suet sat in the garage, staged for distribution…I became annoyed. All winter long I freeze my fingers to ensure your feathery butts survive till spring happy and healthy. But let one, just one delay occur and you turn on me. The nerve! Well we’ll just see who fills that fee…

Reader, are you familiar with the Sharp-shinned Hawk? A highly intelligent raptor, Accipiter striatus resembles a Cooper’s hawk, but is more compact. As soon as their southern migration is complete, they return to the Midwest’s woodlots and manicured backyards with supper on their minds and feeders in their sights. There I sat having my personal hissy-fit over ingrate songbirds when a shadow passed over our naked burning bush. Then a red eyed, square tailed, grayish brown bundle of rusty red feathers swooped in, pulled a poster from under its wing, posted it on the shrub and lit out.

“Jack Unfair to Birds”

I’ll be a barn swallows’ backside, I mumbled. But it makes perfect sense. A hawk can’t gather up much of a cedar waxwing if the suet’s gone dry. Well I guess you know I was duly embarrassed for thinking poorly of the pine siskins and such. To make amends I turned off the computer, left the chair and headed for the garage. Those feeders are full now. The songbirds will have to keep a watchful eye since ol’ sharpy’s back in town. And for me the lesson is clear: Before you have a fit about something you read, be sure of your sources.

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