Bird Brains

Ya'll knows Aunty Belle feeds birds...I was urged to do so by a sister and our mother, but it took a wee one to put me on the bird path.

One day a two year old sat transfixed watching birds eat from a back yard feeder. "Boo (blue) bird!" Her wonderment shamed me...I see this view each morning while standing at the sink making that first cup 'o java, early when the rest of the house is still quiet. Though seasons bring new visitors to the feeder, and despite the mysterious relationship of one species to another, I've pretty much ignored the drama of bird life in my own backyard.

I'm reformed now. Today I'ma shreddin' apple for the brown thrashers who eat mostly worms and berries, turning up they beaks at the seeds preferred by jays and cardinals. Leftover popcorn caused blue-black crows to swoop and startle our regular bullies--the blue jays. Not to be too cutsey, but there is an observable peckin' order 'round heah.

Not content to settle for the simplicity of "boo bird" or red, I watch the bird psycholgy unfold.
Ain't it jes' like on ole' biddy to see in the birds a question for us'uns?

Do them jays ever wish't they's crows? Do they experience envy? Do crows ever wonder why no other birds will eat wif em'? How come the dove ain't a 'feared of that raucous jay family? And why is daddy cardinal so solicitous for his lady? Do any of these bird brains ever wonder about the meaning of existence of the other creatures?

Ya'll reckon Mister Mocking Bird ever shakes a feather heavenward and demands to know why they's cats in this here world?

Birds is busy being birds....following out the natural plan of bird-dom. They don't have brains that demand "why?" or "what if...?". They doan seem to question why they's any injustice, or suffering, or why the spring was unusually warm and pleasant, or even why they's a bird feeder full of easy pickin's.

A son is certain his Labrador does think on a higher plane--and I thinks I agree wif that idea. They's a heirarchy of being-ness that cain't be readily denied. Looky--even PETA folks doan wail an' moan when they drivin' doan the road an' they tires smush worms or ants..but hit a puppy and most of us is shaken up. When praying mantis eats aphids they's no aphid society demanding "rigths" for aphids....but spikes in the head of seals in Canada is repulsive, as Bawgs has tole us...an' he's right. They's an observable hierarchy in nature. Higher life forms "know" they's alive, they's aware of their "being-ness" and that knowing is part of its existence.

But knowing also brings questions. I've even seen a poor ole' dog be "embarrassed" when it's aged body betrayed its training and piddle appears on the floor--the poor ole pup was ashamed, sorry it failed its human friend. Higher forms of life have emotions to go wif all the questions.

This is why Ole' Aunty Belle is jes' amazed when some folks insist that humans have no greater right to existence than any other species...they's a hierarchy of being-ness...it's jes' natural, ain't it?


Mr Q said...

The hierarchy that you speak of, in my opinion is divine. It is not Darwin or any other "great" folk of my own species. I believe that our position in this chain sets a balance, we are the bridge between rationale and instinct as we can all behave like animals sometimes, we have te opposite option as well. The struggle among our own species is what allows other species to survive; the senseless killings that come with a war are part of that. Is it not true that if mankind does not shoot at each other, all the other animals will be the ones being shot at? I have not heard of someone using a carrier to go deep sea fishing, but I have heard of someone eating their own species hearts becuase he thought (was right too) that they were rich in iron.

Aunty Belle said...

Mr. Q, youse on to somethin' I'll wager--hierarchy is divine you say? Hmmmn? Well, more than you might know--root is hier or hiero, after all.

Infinitesimal said...

Q: You KNEW a Heart eater?

that sounds Satanic for sure.

Belle, I am, SO SO glad that you are writing and I think you are brilliant, and I see your shining light and I am glad that you consider me a friend.

This is a really grat read.

You have some pretty good thoughts, reflections, things to chew on all day.


Aunty Belle said...

Contessa, mah pet!! I jes' smile SO big when they's been a visit from you, darlin'.

Onc't in a while I writes, tryin' to find a more contemplative voice than ole' biddy voice, ya' know?

Please come again, sweet thang.

Always On Watch said...

Mr. Q is right: the Lord commanded man's dominion over the creatures.

I love the creatures, but humans are at the top.

"He created man a little lower than the angels."

Aunty Belle said...

ALWAYS, yep...youse got it right...that's the idea of hierarchy--humans are the pinnacle.

Come again, Always.

sparringK9 said...

/bark bark bark

well if the mockingbird dont,i do aunty. why the cats, Lord?


Aunty Belle said...

Hey DAWG!! Whar yer been?? Chasin' down Freya??

Youse asking the Lawd why theys cats??? Well, watch out fer the feline lovers in cyberspace. Dey claws be out now.

Yep, time to let Rottys loose on the cats, even the score.

' Bout time youse back in the yard.

Blue said...

The word dominion is too close to domination for me.

Humans have spent so long thinking & acting like they are the top of the food chain, that they forgot to look long term & take care of the land and creatures.

Forgot to take care of each other.

Yes there is a hierarchy in nature, but there is no excuse for abuse of power & that is what humans have done & continue to do to this beautiful planet in the name of progress & capitalism.

Aunty Belle said...

Yep, Blue Bolt, I'm hearin' ya on the idea of misuse of the land....to have dominion should be to care for, not to pillage.

Anonymous said...

I'm enjoying my new avian friend, who has brought another friend over to feed on some seed... it only took a few minutes for Finchy to show up and enjoy the new "buffet" I have hung out there for him...

dogs are just the most incredible animals... it's a great cosmic joke, at my expense, that I am allergic to them... they have a range of emotions - yes, emotions - that are not unlike a small child... primitive, but complex at the same time...

sparringK9 said...

hi aunty belle! i am enjoying your blog and photos.
i have a pair of eastern peewees (a flycatcher) nesting on top of a security light on my front porch. I dont turn it on at night i am afraid it will be too hot. so i creep up to my door in pitchblack. i also have a pair of wrens in the cap of a big propane tank. but thats every year. my dream sighting though is the big pilated woodpecker that is living in a snag ravaged by beetles.

our mission is to love respect and care for all living things. and when we eat them we should be aware - awareness in a way that the farm brings. when you buy a hermetically sealed something at the grocery it is not the same as seeing an animal you knew personally on the table. like a little steer, or the hen.

but my hens are for laying not eating. unless of course i have to.

Hellpig said...

I do hummingbirds, 3 feeders,I make the nectar myself,boiled water and sugar, NO DYES, tough huh.

Aunty Belle said...

Yea Bawgs!! Ya fed yore visitors and they's so grateful they brough double songs..or is it only the male tha sings?

Hey Gone Native, welcome to this heah porch. You say, "our mission is to love respect and care for all living things. "

Yep, sweet pea, but , sigh, some ain't able to keep they eyes off that big $$$...stay tuned for a new post on the TERMINATOR

HAil-pig!! So pleased to see you heah abouts....where you been?? Besides in the kitchen whippin' up hummingbird cocktails? Three of em'!

I ain't been to DT's in a spell, anything happenin' over theah?

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