Birdbrain is a term of derision – used scathingly or jokingly of someone who makes a silly mistake or forgets something. Today I`ve had to think seriously about that term and its application.
We still have deep snow in our garden in England and this morning it was accompanied by freezing fog. Not a good time for garden birds. I have a free-standing bird feeder – most of the hanging tit-bits are frozen so I have been concentrating on filling up the circular feeder pan – which is used by wood pigeons (my they have some appetite, I understand why farmers hate them), collared doves (see yesterday`s post Weather) and starlings (the Mafia I call them – you can just see them in their slick suits with shotguns concealed in violin cases under their wings!). In the tree near the sitting room window I am keeping an eye on the hanging seed-feeder which is used by sparrows, coal- and blue-tits, robins and the jennywren. I throw a little seed onto the patio under the garden table – which is clear of snow – for the ground feeders hoping the mice are not about or hungry.
This morning I was sitting in my chair drinking my morning tea being quizzed by the blackbird on the fence just outside the window. He was there for ages, just looking at me. I knew there was plenty of food for him so just enjoyed staring back at him without the risk of being thought rude. A little later he had moved onto the plastic composter bin which is just by the window. A few days ago when the snow started, I cleared off the top of the bin and put some seed on that – it was rather slippery but some of the birds managed to get the odd beakful. Going back to the blackbird – he had flown on top of the composter lid and then proceeded to clear the later snow that had fallen using his beak in a sweeping movement – back and forth – until he found the seed that was hidden underneath. I was amazed to think he had remembered it was there and had the sense to dig for it. After he had taken his fill I went outside and put fresh handfuls of seed on the lid, with suet pellets – waiting for him to return for his lunch. I didn`t clear too much snow so the lid won`t be too slippy for him. A bird with brains indeed!!!