November 27, 2008

Urban Wildlife

I seem to have become obsessed with befriending squirrels and birds. Particularly pigeons. Clearly I do not have enough to do. I know that people hate pigeons because they're messy but to me they have the same allure as other small city birds. I walk around with walnuts in my pockets and birdseed in ziplock baggies. During the summer there was a flock of around 50 pigeons that used to roost on top of the Shoppers Drug Mart sign. One day they were all gone -
Shoppers had installed metal spikes on top of the sign. Most of the birds took up residence on the roof of the church across the road but essentially, they stopped coming across the road to forage for food. Yesterday I saw a lone pigeon at Yonge and Finch pecking at cigarette butts looking for food. How tragic is that. I whipped out my birdseed and scattered them around and this little guy was so accurate picking out each kernel, one at a time. I felt very satisfied that I was helping a homeless animal.
As for the squirrels - the ones around my building are pretty tame and come to me when called. I was really surprised to discover that squirrels have lousy eyesight. I can place nuts all around it and the squirrel runs all over the place looking for goodies and not finding anything. Maybe they need to touch and nose things first. After tossing about 6 nuts around this guy he finally found the one I placed right under his nose. Earlier in the year this little guy used to jump up on my purse as I rummaged around for the bag of treats. Yeah, yeah I know it's a rodent - big deal.

1 comment:

Leslie Jane Moran said...

Oh No! I fear I'll find you wandering around the city otherwise known as the "bird woman"! I was just saying I wanted a bird feeder this winter and Irenka pounced on me. Her neighbour feeds squirrels and birds and then the squirrels eat all her bulbs that she took so long to plant, and the birds make a mess of her yard! I guess the moral of the story is...don't feed the animals if you're near Irenka's house! LOL