When I arose to greet this last morning of the lucky 2007th year, I was charmed by a visitor come to feed just outside of my kitchen window. It was a brilliantly feathered flicker that delighted me with my first glimpse of my last day of the year. He was gone in an instant, and just as soon flew in three drearily brown English sparrows, hunkering round about the bird feeder all in a line just as though they belonged there. Well, they don’t I tell you!
No, those wicked little beasts don’t belong near my kitchen window nor anywhere else in all of North America. Same goes for their distant cousins, the dreadful starlings. I am sure that in their native land, they are considered quite beautiful, as they truly are, however, this is not their place. They roam here only because of the long ago meddling of some do-gooder environmentalist who believed it his righteous duty to recreate Shakespeare’s England in our new land.
When I first came to this place ten years ago, it was a most welcome discovery to find NO English sparrows in my garden. I had been at war forever, it seemed, with those foreign occupiers, and finally I was free! My last battle with the English was when I attempted to provide lodging for purple martins at my former home, just one mile away. The brown sparrow brigade barged forth, like the Tory soldiers of long ago, and commandeered the martin house for their own nefarious activities – such as breeding. They stood constant guard and waged war with any purple martins who tried to enter their own rightful domicile. The martins wished only to soar free as birds whilst devouring pesky mosquitoes and other harmful insects, but the Tory sparrows spared no quarter. The fearsome Brits won that war, so I know better than try a go at them again.
What is the old proverb – “nothing good ever lasts?” It must be true. Now the English sparrows have invaded my new garden. It won’t be long before they will overpower the lovely native birds that come visiting and for whom I provide seeds and fruit and winter coverings – the finches, the wrens, chickadees, mourning doves and titmouses*. Or are they “titmice?” Whatever they are, their days are numbered, as the English pirates steal their food and commit all the evil attrocities that the bloodthirsty are wont to commit against the good and trueborn of our land.
*My spellchecker tells me it is “titmice.”