I fear I am party to a murder most fowl……

“Murder is always a mistake – one should never do anything one cannot talk about after dinner”
Oscar Wilde
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I don’t know if I can talk about this after dinner or at anytime….I feel very badly.

Once again my cliche of a life is rolling along with “the best laid plans…” phrase, again, rearing its ugly head. Meaning that my intentions are indeed truly good and noble with me thinking that I am certainly doing a good thing.. when all of a sudden, those good intentions turn and just as suddenly, head south…..

I have several bird feeders in our front yard dangling from the oak tree. The oak tree is sick, but I don’t want to talk about that. If the oak tree is as sick as I think it may be, it may have to be removed, lest it fall. But I don’t want to talk about that. It’s been losing its leaves all summer as if we live in perpetual Fall…but they don’t turn colors, they simply turn dingy and die. I love the two twin oaks that stand sentinel in front of our house. Our house was built around the two trees…without one of them or even worse, life without both tress, would be terrible….I don’t want to talk about it…..

So these bird feeders that are dangling from the oak tree that I don’t want to talk about, draw a plethora of birds to my world. I love watching the birds. The smaller birds, the various finches and the nuthatches, barely move when I come out to fill up the feeders. The woodpeckers, the bluejays, the mocking birds, the cardinals, the visiting grosbeaks, the wrens, the blue birds, as well of a wealth of out of towners, coupled with my growing bevy of mourning doves, all keep my front yard hopping in a sea of flight and fancy.

Our sweet Peaches, our 4 pound orange fluff ball of a cat, is so docile and accepted by the birds that she can sit in the grass under the tree as the birds feed on and under the tree, giving her a no never mind as they go about the task of eating me out of house and home.

Imagine my alarm as my husband came in last evening from work with the words…
“I just witnessed a murder”
“WHAT?!”
“Yep, you are one bird less”

Once I recover my composure that he was not speaking of some horrendous human sort of crime, I immediately thought of Peaches and how she must have committed the unthinkable against one of her “friends”
“Peaches?” I ask timidly..
“No, the culprit is a hawk”
“WHAT?!”
“I told you that the hawks were eyeing an orange meatball just waiting to swoop down in order to snatch up Peaches!”

But it seems the perpetrator to this horrific crime was not one of the larger hawks, not the red tail nor broad wing which screech and circle overhead as I’m out working in the yard–eyeing both me and my cat. No, this fowl on fowl attack came from a sparrow hawk…the stealthy little dive bombing predator, the Japanese Zero or the German Messerschmitt of the bird world, small, quick, agile and deadly. The predator who is not much bigger than my larger birds in the local community of which he has obviously been eyeing.

My husband was pulling down the driveway when he saw something black quickly dart into the oak tree, the sick, sad oak tree that I don’t want to talk about… and just as suddenly the black dart drops from the tree, like a rock, with deadly speed and force onto one of my unsuspecting mourning doves. My husband reported that the little hawk was not much bigger than the poor victim.

I dash out the backdoor to the yard. There, a few feet beyond the full shadow of the tree, was a strewn pile of feathers. Lots of feathers, more so than I could capture with a single image with my camera. A terrible thing.

I am sad. I feel as if I have aided and abetted this criminal and his horrendous fowl on fowl crime. I lured the victims in with the dangling feeders, filling them up, day after day after day with only the best food my humble money could afford for my fine feathered friends…they felt safe, fed, accepted and home. I set them up. Woe to me.

I have no words.

Take the feeders down you say. But the birds, they bring me such joy. This is the first occurrence of such horrific magnitude. We have endured squirrels, mass flocks of starlings who swoop in en mass like some sort of flash mob, raccoons tearing the feeders down night after night, snakes slithering up the tree to the bird houses–yes that was a bad thing and a crazy thing to watch…a giant rat snake made its way across the driveway, through the yard, up the tree and into the bird house, all as we watched the unthinkable. Thank God, no one was at home.

And now, a usurper has come to the yard, this small unsuspecting Falco Sparverius which sounds so like some Roman Gladiator, has come in, upsetting the fine balance of tranquility and peace… in and under the sad sick oak—I don’t want to talk about it.

I hate this whole balance of nature business, the whole food chain thing, the survival of the fittest, of the quickest of the smartest….I just hate one has to die so that another lives.
It’s just the way things are my husband tells me.
That doesn’t help my feelings…..

I’m sorry birds……
I don’t want to talk about it……

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