Bird Seed or Bat Flu?

Forget toilet paper, I should have stocked up on bird seed when COVID-19 first came on the scene. There are three seed feeders hanging on a triple hanger pole just outside the kitchen window. We imagesit at our kitchen table and watch the birds pick at their favorite blend, while the squirrels and chipmunks gleefully chomp whatever falls to the ground.

The first year we had this setup, we bought a bird book and checked off all the varieties that came to dine here, putting a paper clip on the page when we spied one kind or another. Soon, there was a clip on nearly every other page; the only birds we did not see were eagles, hawks, turkey buzzards and a few other exotic species. We quickly gave up trying to remember the names, settling for, “little speckled ones” or “big noisy black ones” when we couldn’t clearly distinguish a cardinal, a blue jay or a goldfinch.

As Spring came rushing on (except for the days it was snowing, this is Wisconsin after all) my seed supplies were dwindling. Trying to keep the feeders full, I began to let them get nearly empty before adding any more seeds. We started getting “looks” from the birds. The blue jays, for instance, will actually perch on the top of the pole ,and, facing our window, they call out as if to say, “We know you’re in there! Where’s the food?”. The other birds seem to flutter and nod in agreement. The half dozen doves that regularly decimate the food supply have been gathering suspiciously, muttering among themselves, as if plotting something.

Worse yet, the head chipmunk stands on the back step, just by the door, threatening to march right in if something isn’t done soon. The squirrels look ready to back him up. It’s gotten so bad that I feel guilty while munching my ham sandwich. I’d close the blinds, but I’d still hear them out there. I’ve been seriously thinking about eating in the living room.

So today, I have to make a decision. Should I go to Farm & Fleet to buy more bird seed? Risk getting the deadly bat virus for the sake of my feathery and furry dependents? Do I disobey the governor’s “Safe at Home” orders; is feeding these critters “essential”?

There’s a lot of noise and activity outside the kitchen window right now. I’m afraid of what they might be up to out there. That’s it! I can’t take it any longer. Good bye dear wife, I’m heading out….

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