Like so many things in life, it started out as a simple idea. I thought I wanted a bird feeder. I have a hammock in my yard and had visions of myself swaying in the breeze.. binoculars in one hand, ice tea in the other..studying unusual species. I did some research and purchased a $40, Cadillac-model, premium, super dee dooper, “squirrel-proof” feeder. Next, I needed bird seed.
And suddenly things got complicated.
I thought seed was just seed, but no.. there’s sunflower, specialty mixes, corn, berries, fillers and hulled…and yo, it’s not cheap! I called my nature-loving neighbor for advice and oh, wow.. there was soo much I didn’t know about keeping a bird feeder in Florida..most of it having NOTHING to do with birds.
When she got to the part about families of rats, the raccoon that tore a hole in her screen trying to get to her bag of seed, some animal that kept dragging her entire feeder into the bog AND the fact that she now brings her feeder into the house every night… well, I had heard enough. I sent my brand spankin’ new feeder straight back to Amazon the very next day.
We have a neighbor down the street who feeds the ducks and they have basically turned her (and her neighbor’s) back yards into mud. Every morning when we walk by the pond, there are at least 25 ducks congregating on those properties. Yesterday we received a letter from the homeowner’s association reminding residents not the feed the alligators (duh!) or the aggressive, non-native Muscovy ducks.
Whoever thought feeding birds was so fraught with potential problems? Not me that’s for sure! So I’m back to assuming my regular relationship with Florida wildlife.. We are guests in their habitat.. we are to look from afar, don’t touch, and for heaven’s sake..(surely you’ve seen the movie) don’t feed the animals!!!