Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Change It or Accept It?

Gah. Remember my mention yesterday of a mysterious sparrow-eating cat in our yard?

Well. There is no cat.

Instead, we've been invaded by pushy, blood-thirsty, flesh-tearing grackles

I'd never even heard of any semi-normal birds killing other birds before, but yesterday evening Tom and I witnessed a grackle picking at Dead Sparrow #3 (for the day) outside our dining room window.

So I ran upstairs to check online whether this horrible sight could be true (what did we ever do before computers?) and oh my. I discovered whole message boards of bird lovers bemoaning the plight of sparrows due to horrid, horrid grackles.

Tom and I felt sick with disappointment. We've fed birds over 20 years and, being homebodies, one of our greatest joys is watching myriad birds fluttering joyfully only feet away from our dining room window. And Daniel and Sammy The Cats love their 'kitty tv' even more than we do.

"Frustration:  trying to do something you can do nothing about."

So rather than just sit here feeling frustrated by those &^%$@# grackles, I'm Taking Steps. 

I emptied the regular feeders into the trash. I stored one in the garage and hung flowers, instead, from its former post, but our old finch feeder will go there after I buy finch seed. The oriole feeder will stay up and I'll buy a hummingbird feeder. I'll wait a month before I try putting out any regular bird seed--hopefully the grackles will have grown weary of sitting vulture-like in our trees by then.

Some things in Life can be changed and some cannot, but oh, when we mix those up! When we waste our strength and years trying to change what cannot be...

Yet what brings peace? Accepting what cannot be changed and then simply, quietly, doing something about what can.


More info. on grackle-avoiding bird feeding can be found here. Wilma in my comments reminded me that safflower seed is supposed to be a good alternative. I'll try that in a couple of weeks.

And yes... some people believe birds shouldn't be fed in the summer. I am not one of those people. :)


Oh! And almost forgot to add.... the blood meal is working wonderfully in keeping squirrels away from my plants. This was another thing which had a solution--I just had to search for it rather than sit around and whine about the problem.


Isaiah 41:10 ... fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


K.E. said...

I didn't like grackles (even their name is icky) before this bit of information came to light.

Anonymous said...

The article advises safflower seed. We started using it in our feeders last year. No blackbird or grackle will touch it. We're sorry the Redwing doesn't like it tho as we are fond of the Redwing. Indeed the blackbirds do leave around the end of June in this area of PA. The upside of safflower also is the fact that doves, cardinals, finches and sparrows love it.


Debra said...

Kim--yes, grackle is an icky word, isn't it? Fitting for icky birds. :)

Wilma--thanks for the reminder! After a couple weeks I think I'll try safflower seed. Right now I'm looking forward to the day these present grackles move on and forget they were ever in my yard. (Yeah, I'm a dreamer, but we already knew that. heh.)

Our neighbor, though, does feed the birds, too, but I'm noticing she, also, is using more liquid-type feeders than last year. She's probably experienced the same eating-of-sparrows in her yard. sigh.

Thanks, Ladies! ... Debra

John and Suz said...

Debra, I'd never even heard of Grackles before! I looked them up, first on Google images, and if I didn't know (now) how awful they are, I'd say they were quite pretty! Then I looked up where they live, and thankfully, they don't hang about in our neck of the woods. Last year hubby suggested I quit feeding the birds because he felt it attracted rats and mice. This year he said..."what the heck, they are out there anyway, you might as well start feeding the birds again". Made me a happy girl!