Sunday, September 20, 2015

Backyard Consumerism

Nothing appeals to our ancient hunter-gatherer instincts like a good sale. Animals are not immune to that feeling. Watching the frenzy at the feeders in the morning is a lot like watching a Black Friday sale at a department store.

When you spend your life foraging, it's hard to resist easy pickings. The "early birds" line up at the door (in the tree) before the feeders are filled. Many times during the year, I filled the feeders to the sound of blue jays alerting their friends that the doors just opened. They are all about being first.

There are also the saavy shoppers. Woodpeckers check for suet. Chickadees, titmice, and nuthatches only want the best seed. They swoop in, pick out the seed they want and swoop out to enjoy their treasure before coming back. Some understand that the seeds will only last so long. I observed nuthatches hiding seeds around the yard so they could get back to the "sale" quicker. This could explain the mystery sunflowers that popped up in our yard during the summer.

There are always aggressive shoppers at any sale. Clumps of house sparrows swoop in, shouldering each other for better positions. Fights break out often, usually among the mourning doves. They smack at each other with their wings as they protect the seeds they claimed.

There are the hoarders. Once the squirrels come, it's hard for anyone else to eat. They hang from branches over the feeders and grab handfuls of seed and suet. The smart scavengers station themselves underneath, grabbing at anything the squirrels drop.

Then there are chipmunks. I think they are the smartest shoppers. Their motto is "come early and come often." They fill their bags (cheeks) to bursting and run off to stow their goodies in the car (burrow) before rushing back in for more.

Which leads  to another life lesson learned from animals...
 Bring your own bags.

1 comment:

Inner Elder said...

Another gem from your "pen". Love your analogy with Black Friday. Your observational powers come from a deep place. Thank you for this beautiful post. Love, Mom

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...