Terrorist birds

Until I moved out here, the only birds that I was even mildly interested in were dove and pheasant because other than that the only fucking birds you saw in Central California were vultures, crows, magpies and starlings. Wild turkeys have made a damned nice comeback but they were too damned much work to shoot so I passed on that. Same thing with ducks and geese, fuck that, I’m not willingly going to hunt anything that I have to be wet and cold in order to be successful. I don’t care much for the taste of waterfowl anyways. What the fuck was I talking about? Oh yeah, birds.

Take Two:
“Until I moved out here, the only birds that I was even mildly interested in…..” I’m still not really interested in birds, not like Lisa, but I have noticed there’s a much bigger variety out here. Cardinals, blackbirds, robins, bluebirds, dove, quail, even the vultures look different and bro, let me tell you, we got us some motherfuckin’ vultures out here. There’s millions of them. I ain’t never seen so many vultures in my entire life, always circling, always waiting for something to die.
In California there will be a dead cow and you’d see 40 or 50 of them circling and waiting their turn at the carcass but out here they do it in little street gangs of maybe 3 or 4 birds. Rarely will you see more than that in the general vicinity. I don’t know why that is and I ain’t really interested in finding out why, it’s just something I noticed. Get back on subject, man.

Take Three:
Anyways, Lisa likes to watch all the different types of birds in the yard so we’ve got several feeders that we pretty much keep filled and let me tell you what I don’t know who the fuck came up with the expression “eats like a bird” when describing a picky eater, but he/she damned sure never had to try and keep wild bird feeders full. I gave up on keeping them filled months ago. Fuck those welfare birds – I’ll give ’em a handout when I want to, but I’ll be damned if I’ll feel obligated to. But birds are not picky eaters – they will eat anything at any time and they never slow down. If they’re not flying or sleeping they’re eating and shitting. If they’re flying, they’re looking for something to eat. Damn, sidetracked again.

Take Four:
Hummingbirds. This post is about hummingbirds.
I’ve seen hummingbirds before but usually it’s like one here one over there a few minutes apart. But here? The little fuckers are everywhere from right about this time of the year until fall. Last year they hung out untill we got a couple of good hard freezes and they all said ‘fuck that, it’s time to make a run for the border’ and headed down to Central America or wherever they go in the winter. Again, I’m not really interested where they go, all I know is they’re gone and I can finally go out on the porch without fear of being attacked.
Wait….. attacked? Yup, attacked. Those cute li’l fuckers are by far the most aggressive, belligerent, stingiest, inconsiderate birds I’ve ever seen. I’m not kidding. They guard their food sources like dobermans. If one’s feeding and another one comes in, the first one stops and runs the other one off. The one that got jammed up will then hang out until the first one’s finished, then it’ll go feed.

The ones here are about 1/4 that size. Little bitty motherfuckers.

We keep a few hummingbird feeders full of plain ol’ sugar water hanging off the porch because Lisa gets a kick out of them coming in so close. Okay, it was cool at first but when you’re sitting outside enjoying a nice breeze, it’s hard to relax when you’ve got 3-4 birds ripping past your head at hypersonic speed at different angles. And their little wings don’t make a whispering noise like you’d figure, they’ve got this ripping noise thing going on, sounds kinda like a minigun working out. And they fly past so fast you get about a half second of that noise and before you can slap the little bastard out of the air it’s already done a wingover and coming in from another direction.
That shit goes on all day long, too. I don’t see how Lisa handles it. If I hung out there as much as she does, there’d be strings of bullet holes tracking across the roof.

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34 Responses to Terrorist birds

  1. AbbyS says:

    My daddy always said you are supposed to stop feeding in June & start up again in October. The little beggars should fend for themselves in the summer….

  2. Fred Z says:

    Just started your blog, so don’t know where ‘here’ is. Tennessee? I’m at Baynes Lake BC, just north of Eureka, Montana and we have the little buggers too.

    Ours sound like gigantic aggressive African bees. They buzz loudly about two octaves below a normal bee and if you’re not expecting them, …

    They are beautiful little things though.

    • Wirecutter says:

      Macon County, Tennessee. I’m 2 miles from the Kentucky border, northeast of Nashville. I moved here 13 months ago from the Central Valley in California.
      Have your hummingbirds showed up yet? We’ve just started getting them back a week or so ago.

  3. TheStruggler says:

    I’m in Kentucky just south of Louisville(Brandenburg)… Seen the first hummingbird over the weekend. And yes, the birds around here will clean out a feeder in a hurry. I’ve gotten to where I only load the feeders from Friday to Sunday.

  4. TheStruggler says:

    Comment disappeared

  5. CW says:

    I tagged one of those California Turkey Vultures once with my truck. It was feeding on some road kill, I came around the corner and it took off. Would have gotten clean away, but like an idiot it changed it’s mind about the direction it wanted to fly, took a slow turn right in front of me and ate my right fender at about 45 mph. It made a beautiful arc as it cleared the barbed wire fence in a big feathery ball and landed about five feet from what it had just been feeding on. Justice of a sort, I suppose.

  6. Tsquared says:

    Quail and grits with gravy will set you soul to rest. Welcome to the South. If you need a recipe let me know. I pinged you a few days back about the Nashville Predators who are in the Stanly Cup Championship.


  7. Robert says:

    Had one fly up by my ear on my blind side while I was in the garage. Thought I was gonna get stung by Wisconsin’s largest bumblebee until I realized what it was. I hope.

  8. Tom in NC says:

    Mom and dad were big bird watchers – gave ’em a chance to get out and about together and excuses to go places… They loved dove hunting as well. Can’t tell you how many times we’d be driving down the road in north Texas when my mom would suddenly yell, “Stop the car and back up a bit!! There’s a bird back in that tree I want to look at!” Dad and I would sigh, but we’d always back up for her. As for hummingbirds, we had feeders out in the backyard all summer. One time, mom was walking out of the carport to the house when a nice ruby throated one came right up to her lips, close enough mom felt the breeze from her wings. She was elated! and if your hearing is good enough, you can hear the little noises they make – mine used to be, would make mom mad she couldn’t hear them. I’m in the same boat now, can’t hear well at all at those higher frequencies – too many close loud explosions in years past.

  9. Danny says:

    I love those damn little birds! They are the coolest things going.
    Here in Utah they are little guys maybe three inches long and another inch and a half of beak.

    Before the crazy redhead got my house I had feeders out for them and they always came back in the spring/summer.

    The funny story:
    I had a new neighbor move in a couple of years ago.
    He had just moved in and we were sitting on my back deck having a cold one.
    If you’ve ever seen those birds do their mating dance, it’s amazing.
    They chase each other around and the male will go vertical about a hundred feet straight up making this trilling sound all the way up.
    It’s like watching an unbelievable dogfight happening in my back yard.
    So we watch this for a couple of minutes, I’m grinning like an idiot because I think its soon damn cool.
    I look at him and he has this look of sheer horror on his face.
    I say Glenn whats wrong???!!!!
    He looks at me and says ‘ WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF BUGS DO YOU HAVE HERE!!!!!!!!!!”

    As God is my witness!
    I never laughed so hard in my life.

    • Wirecutter says:

      I would’ve died laughing too, then I would’ve immediately posted it to embarrass the fuck out of him.

      I’ve never seen that mating thing though. I’ll have to start watching for it.

      • The DA says:

        This is the move ours make when they’re trying to get attention from girls.


        It looks like they’re swinging back and forth in an arc– as though attached to a string.

        I’ve had them buzz me and hit the feeders while I’m carrying them out to rehang them. They seem to like people. They’re not nearly as rowdy on the feeders when we’re not around.

    • Bibliotheca Servare says:

      Well, you just killed me. I’m dying laughing as I type thi….

      lol, that is *awesome*. I wish I could have seen his face when he figured it out. (he did figure it out, right?) Heck, I wish I could have seen his expression when he thought they were giant freaking demon bugs from hell! Oh man…

  10. Sarthurk says:

    we now have 9 Band tailed Pigeons at our bird feeding station occasionally. Trying to think of a way to harvest quietly. They eat a lot of our bird seed. They should be fat already.

  11. Angel says:

    Next do a post on hummingbirds while you’re fucked up.

  12. macarch says:

    Live near the coast in Southern California – sorry about that – and see quite a few hummingbirds. No feeders, but if you have the right plants around they will come to you. Just make sure the windows are closed if the plants are close to the house. I’ve had few uninvited, buzzing house guests.

  13. Scott says:

    Are you sure you don’t have squirrels emptying out your bird feeders? No feeder is truly squirrel-proof (there’s always one or two who can figure it out), but you can slow them down and/or distract them with easier pickings (like some dried corn).

    • Wirecutter says:

      Nah, the dogs have moved the squirrels down to the treeline. I thought the same thing but the feeders get emptied during the day when the dogs are out and about. If I fill them in the evening, they’re still full in the morning.

  14. ignore amos says:

    Standing in the back of my crossways truck, sealing up the front window of my camper, I swear I thought someone blew an airhorn right behind my head. I almost shit myself and turned around to see nothing but empty road behind me. I must be going nuts? Back to work with shaking hands. It immediately happened again. I turned in time to see a blur cross the road and go zooming 100 feet up, next to the douglas firs across the road, and down it comes again. It zoomed across the road and stopped long enough to give a big squawk and back up it went. I had no idea such a tiny bird could be that loud. I told a bird guy about it, he said it was a Rufous Hummingbird’s mating dance.

  15. Michael in Nelson says:

    WC, the hummers you have are ruby throated hummingbirds, the only species East of the Mississippi. They do go to Central America in the winter, flying across the Gulf of Mexico to Yucatan. That’s an amazing trip for such a small bird.

  16. Tim D says:

    “Those cute li’l fuckers are by far the most aggressive, belligerent, stingiest, inconsiderate birds I’ve ever seen.”

    Just means you’ve never had to deal with blue jays.

  17. =TW= says:

    Your book will be an American Classic.

  18. Deb says:

    Ruby-throated hummingbirds,the only ones we get, arrived here in Maine in April. They are territorial, hence the fighting with other birds for food. Was out watering the garden last year, holding the hose up over my head on power wash speed in hopes of reaching the far end. As the stream of water was arcing across the flowers, sun shining at an angle causing a rainbow, a hummingbird hovered in the mist of the arc. If my arm didn’t tire out, I bet a unicorn would have come around the corner.

  19. just.don says:

    We used to have 6 or 8 feeders out. Had dozens of them. One spring day we were out in the back and wife asked me “when do you think the hummingbirds will get here?” I said “turn around.” one was hovering behind her as if to say “Where is MY feeder?”

  20. Bryce says:

    My family vacations at a friend’s cabin in Colorado every summer. They’ve got 8 feeders that those little bastards drain daily. We make 4 gallons of hummer juice every day. Got a great close up pic of one sitting on my finger.

  21. katya kakhov says:

    I retired in Feb too , so I do a lot more “observating . Noticed we went from 2 birds to 2 or 3 dozen HB’s a few weeks ago , and then overnight it fell back to 2 again . Took a day or two to figure out the feeders were being cased by a pair of roadrunners , Ahhhh HAH ! Did a little research , put out more feeders farther apart and we have more again , just spread out . I didnt tell her , but I no longer consider them her HB feeders , they’re my roadrunner feeders .

    They stay all year , look and behave like little velociraptors that can be “tamed” , and eat way more rattlesnakes than HB’s ! lol The doberman come hauling ass out from under the porch last night SWINGING! a rattler clamped onto his jowl ……and that mouthy, ,lucky, little bastard didnt get envenomated !.


    Here is one running a trap line that well meaning folks set up for him as he goes from one feeder to the next . Note that some have seed , some have nectar , and he is completely uninterested in the “free bird seed” as in our youth .


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