My boys are the best but let's face it, they’re 'fraidy cats. (I’m talking about my cats Jay Bird “JB” and Eli “Blue Birdie”) We occasionally get birds in the Wild Birds Unlimited East Lansing store. This isn't because we have massive amounts of the best bird food.
The starlings were here before we opened the store a few years ago, swooping in and out via uncovered air vents on the sides of the building. We thought it was a good sign. Now I hear the tick, tick, tick as they walk across the ceiling tiles and I watch the cats' heads follow the noise above them.
The birds usually make their way out the same way they came in, but sometimes a curious fellow will drop in if he discovers a hole in the ceiling. When that happened my boys used to run to me with big eyes and alert me that there was trouble. Now with Dolly in the mix it's a little different. Dolly, here since last October, isn't afraid of these large birds.
I actually named her Darling Starling because she was black and white. Her name was later shortened to Dolly. (I found it much easier to yell “DOLLY come down, DOLLY get out of there, DOLLY leave your brothers alone, DOLLY don’t eat that spider…" than Darling.) And I have to be a little more vigilant now when I hear thump, thumping in the back room.
We had a starling in the store two times this week. The first time the tick, ticking on the ceiling was driving me crazy and I cracked open the ceiling. The bird flew down and I picked him up at the closed window and took him outside with Dolly watching my every move.
The second time I heard a thump, thump in the back and then silence. I went to investigate. Dolly had the back end of a Starling in her mouth and the boys were poised on their tippy toes, high up on the fax machine, far, far away from her!
“Yikes, Dolly what do you have?” Not quite sure what I was screaming about she dropped the bird and I grabbed him as he was trying to escape through a closed window.
Once nabbed, I put him outside and he flew away with a lesson learned, hopefully. Why are we seeing so many birds in the store right now? Well, even though there is still snow on the ground these birds were probably already scouting for appropriate nesting sights. What fun! I am envisioning the pitter pat of baby starling feet in my near future.