It’s not something I speak about much, but in addition to helping The Animator’s Wife with her crochet activities, I also enjoy bird watching. In fact, when The Animator’s Wife isn’t home, I find nothing more relaxing than curling up in front the window and listening to the peaceful songs of the sparrows.

However, their song has not been very peaceful of late. Allow me to detail the drama Osiris and I have witnessed in our very own backyard.


It all began Monday afternoon, when we heard a horrible racket coming from the kitchen. One of the outer kitchen walls has a vent in which a family of sparrows has made their nest for the past few years, and that day it sounded as though they were fighting for their lives! Osiris and I raced to the window to see what the raucous was about, and discovered a mysterious black bird was attacking the nest and tearing it to pieces. The sparrows were desperately trying to keep it at bay, but the black bird, small though he was for a bird, was large enough to overpower the tiny sparrows. Before long, the entire nest was on the ground in shreds.

The next day, after The Animator and his Wife had left to do whatever it is they do during the day, I went back to the window to see if the sparrows had succeeded in their defense of the nest. I speak a little sparrow--not much, but certainly more than Osiris does. It's something I learned from my feral mother before I was taken away from her as a kitten. Anyhow, our sparrows are smart enough to know that as long as the screens are closed in the windows, Osiris and I can’t harm them, so I was able to call one over to the window and find out what had happened the day before.


Apparently, one of the sparrows had come back to the nest and discovered an egg that wasn’t theirs, so of course they tossed it out. No sooner had they done so than the mother of the egg--a shiny cowbird from South America--returned and began annihilating the nest as revenge for egg the sparrows had destroyed. Then she threatened them with their lives if they didn’t rebuild the nest and raise her next egg. She said she and the other cowbirds would be watching to make sure they didn’t try anything stupid the next time around. It was then I noticed one of the cowbirds perched on a tree branch facing the sparrows’ nest. He must have been the one designated to oversee the rebuilding of the nest.


The sparrow flew away then in search of more nesting material. I sat in disbelief. Our yard has been invaded by the South American Cowbird Mafia! The once cheery song of the sparrows has been replaced by the sharp, annoying whistling of the goodfeathas. How I wish The Animator’s Wife would let us out and teach those cowbirds a lesson! Although I admit to fantasizing about how the sparrows might taste if I could get my paws on one, I would much rather be awakened by their chirping in the morning than by the dastardly cowbirds.

At times like these, I’m glad I no longer live in the wild. Nature is not kind.