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We have three bird feeders in our garden; two that are full of regular bird feed and a special one for hummingbirds that is colorfully decorated so that it looks like it’s covered with flowers. Sadly, we haven’t seen a single hummingbird since we got the thing, but maybe they come really early in the morning when nobody is around to drink the nectar in peace.

But the other two feeders are alive with birds during the day. Sparrows and finches and even the occasional cardinal fight for perches. There are fourteen in total—eight on our larger feeder, and six on the smaller one.

Usually there are about three dozen birds, so the unlucky ones that didn’t get a perch at first have to wait patiently in line, like kids in a cafeteria. They sit on the fence or the little banana trees we have in the garden until a space opens up. Then they all rush forward in a flurry of feathers, speeding to the feeder like little torpedoes, and if they fight hard enough, they get the spot. If not, they get back in line.

When someone nibbles and pecks at their food, eating very little, people say, “You eat like a bird.” That saying is extremely inaccurate. Birds eat like pigs! Those birds at our feeders snap savagely at the feed and we can see the little seeds and pellets fly through the air. We can see their little heads bobbing back and forth as they gobble. They eat with gusto.

It might just be me, but every day there seem to be more and more birds at the feeders. Dad says that we own a successful bird restaurant, and that every night, all the little sparrows get on Twitter and recommend our place to their friends.

“Man, you should totally try this new restaurant they’ve got!” the sparrows say. “It’s reasonably priced, and has a great selection. What’s more, there are never any squirrels bothering us! It’s at the yellow house on sixteenth!”

“Cool. I’ll try it,” their friends reply. “Meet you there tomorrow at noon?”

“Got it; see ya.”

Right now, even, as I sit by the window and type, there are thirty birds or more out there, pecking away and chirping with delight, like little kids who have woken up in a world made of chocolate. They’re eating as sloppily as possible, as usual. Dad just swept the patio, and they’re spilling feed everywhere all over again.



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