Thursday, July 16, 2009


Bird watching.

David (hubby) and I do a lot of this. We spend money on feed, feeders, and how to keep off the squirrels who show up for the feed and hang upside down like bats on the feeders. We spend thirty bucks on two baffles and hot sauce seed even though the very knowledgeable girl at Bird Watchers Supply said, "Squirrels. Can't stop 'em."

I thought -- Clint Eastwood could do something about them, but I digress, as usual.

We have 14 feeders (three of which we inherited from David's mom), and David religiously fills the feeders so that we can watch the birds. David also washes out the bird bath each morning, and since it's hot, he adds ice cubes to cool it down. Our back deck is the freakin' Ritz Carlton for Birds.

Each Christmas, someone in my family gives David a bird feeder. Thus, the 11 we have accumulated over the years. Last year, my niece gave David a bird feeder that glows in the dark. The birds hang out there at night like it's a disco.

I have no idea when we got "old" enough to enjoy birds and their antics -- whether it's the bully bluejays, the "I'd rather walk than fly" Carolina wrens, the downy woodpecker, or the run of the mill mousy brown birds that we can never remember the names of..

Me: Why are those birds so plain?
David:What birds?
Me: Those brown plain ones with the plumage of bark.
David: Plumage? Who says plumage?
Me: I do.
David: I can never remember their names, but if this were the debutant ball for birds, these guys would be sitting in the chairs around the dance floor waiting for a starling to ask em to dance.
Me: Why starlings?
David: Cause there are more male than female starlings.
Me: What? You made that up.
David: I don't know what those brown birds are called.

Anyway, I have told many squirrel stories in my day since I find squirrels so annoying and neurotic. David throws ice at them(not the same ice that he puts in the bath), and they dive from the second story deck into the ducia or the azaleas like Olympians. Well, scared Olympians who freeze right before they take the plunge...

We are bird watchers.

This afternoon I came home from running errands, and I open the back door for Keats, who likes to stare down the birds like she's a big bad serial killer, and I happened to glance at the bird bath. In the bath is a dead bird -- flat on his back -- stick figure legs straight up in the air, inert beak, lying on its back in the water like its on a pneumatic.

I called David at work.

David: Whut? (that's how he answers his phone -- caller ID has brought that to us)
Me: Dead bird in the bird bath.
David: Okay.
Me: You're gonna have to move it -- bird flu and all.
David: Whut?
Me: Well, I don't know what it died of -- could be the flu, could be drowning, could be birdcide, could be a blue jay hit -- you're gonna have to handle it.
David: Are you done?

This is what retirement has brought me.
Time to wonder about the death of a bird and to blog about it...

Did you guys read this far?


  1. Ms. Gillham, I love reading your blog. Today I read parts of your post to my roommate, and we very much enjoyed laughing together at your story and the description of your birds. Thank you for sharing your talent and humor!
    -Sarah Friese

  2. At least you have not gotten to where you recognize each bird, and have named them....tell me you haven't!!

  3. I think we should file a complaint about the constant barking of the dogs behind the fence and across the street.
    They always wake me up.

  4. Hot sauce seed?!! Ice cubes in the birdbath? When David retires, you two will be dangerous!

  5. Trust me, we're already dangerous.

  6. Love the thought for the moment. Too funny. nsb

  7. Speakin' of eastwood, anyone seen Gran Torino? Good flick.

  8. i read your blog.. just sayin

  9. I believe the correct term for birdcide is ornicide. Besides, it flows.

  10. "could be a blue jay hit"--hilarious. Though, the blue jays are bullies. I've seen them get into it with the doves.

    I love reading your blog. You are one of the funniest people I know and it keeps me entertained at my incredibly boring summer job as a receptionist.