Guilty Pleasure

The dead and rain-sodden body of a tiny chickadee lays on our deck beneath the kitchen windows. He evidently misjudged his route between the birdfeeder and the nearby trees and collided with the glass. It happens so seldom, but whenever it does I have the urge to stand in the window like a scarecrow for the next few days and warn the other birds away. That’s not a sensible solution, of course. Pulling down the blinds or relocating the feeder would be a better idea. But with the blinds closed I would have to have the lights on during these dark wintry days, and the bears destroy the feeders when I put them anywhere else.

Red-breasted nuthatch
Red-breasted nuthatch

My dilemma would be solved if I simply chose not to feed the birds but that’s not a decision I want to make. I love to see them lined up on the railing hovering impatiently as they wait their turn for tasty seeds or bits of suet. In the past hour alone there have been two Flickers and several chickadees, nuthatches and juncos plus a cheeky squirrel all vying for their dinner reservations. They are a delight to watch, but when one gives his life for my pleasure it makes me question my priorities.


Perhaps a wreath hung in each window will act as a beacon on the flight path and solve my problem at least until the Christmas season is over.


But for now there’s a pint-sized funeral service and burial to conduct.



Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

3 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasure

  1. When we first built our house, the very thing happened almost every day. It was so depressing. I tried taping owls to the glass. The swallows nest at the peak of our top window. The babies fall out of the nest and land 20′ to the deck below. I stuck a chair in the place I thought they land to soften the blow.

    The only thing that worked was time. Did they communicate to each other to be wary of our windows? I don’t know. But suddenly a summer went by and there were no deaths. Then another summer passed with no casualties.

    Sometimes I feel guilty for infringing on the wildlife’s territory. We have moose, bears, bobcats trek through our yard. I don’t think there’s a real solution, other than they’re forced to adapt.

  2. I’ve ended up with large-ish snowflakes in each of the seven windows and so far no other birds have hit the glass, but this isn’t really a long enough test period. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    It’s snowing this morning and already the “early birds” have been by for breakfast.

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