Bird seed wars

My husband has declared war on the woodpecker. I thought it’d be an easy win for him, he’s larger and has higher intelligence, but it hasn’t turned out that way. Birds are sneaky.

The entire issue started a couple of weeks ago when we noticed that the bird seed wasn’t just decreasing, it was disappearing at alarming rates. The level was dropping in front of our very eyes so quickly we feared there was a hole in the container.

I went out in the cold and inspected the container. Nope. No hole but the seed was all in piles under the feeder. One day of obsessive feeder-watching revealed the culprit: the woodpecker.

Turns out that colourful bird only eats one of the seeds in the entire mix. Since that seed is rare in the feed, he digs with his specially designed beak, throwing away the rest, unconcerned about waste. Once he finds the one he wants, he leaves.

Once my husband found out what was going on, he declared war. He muttered some dark curses and, while I replenished the feeder, he concocted a plan. His Napoleon-worthy strategy consisted of sneaking behind Groucho the tree until he spotted the woodpecker and then running out of the house like a mad person, shouting loud enough to wake up Tutankhamun. This not only scared the woodpecker, it also freaked out every other bird, our dog, myself and even Groucho the tree. But my lovely husband was convinced this was the way. Apparently, shouting British threats at the top of one’s lungs, is a certain way to ensure PTSD in birds.

It’s been two days of full out war and there are casualties. My husband has almost lost his slippers twice (they went flying into the snow when he ran out of the house), he almost fell on the ice and he stubbed his toe with the door.

The only one who seems to have come out of this unscathed is the woodpecker. He’s still in there, digging away at the seeds. In fact, I swear, I think he’s smiling.

Birds are cheeky.