To the wild turkeys that live around my home




Dear Flock,

I understand that there have been efforts made over the last decade to reintroduce your species to northern North America. These efforts, I truly believe, are commendable; your species fills an important niche in this ecosystem, one which should be respected and protected. I like to think, also, that you and I have had a certain unspoken agreement over this past month; you (and your kin) are free to come to the birdfeeder, and you are free to eat whatever might be found on the ground there. You are not, under any circumstances, to attempt to fly up and perch on the birdfeeder, in an attempt to get your food directly from the source; this sort of behavior will be met with furious pounding of windows and stamping of feet, the sort of thing we both know you find quite upsetting. The birdfeeder proper is (and shall remain) the sole dominion of those smaller birds that are not quite so comfortable as you guys with regards to eating off of the floor. This relationship, properly maintained, could be quite rewarding for you both; you can eat the birdseed that the smaller birds scratch onto the ground; the smaller birds can in turn benefit from your intimidating presence. Up until recently, I was confident that all parties involved were aware and conscious of this beautiful symbiosis.

Listen: You've got to stop eating the chickadees. Whatever happened to brotherhood? Whatever happened to "birds of a feather"? I understand that by some sort of evolutionary oversight, chickadees aren't particularly attuned to the possibility that threats might come from below...but simply because you can eat something, doesn't mean that you should. Why must the chickadee be punished for having a readily available food source throughout the winter? While it is true that there has been an above average level of snowfall this season, and that foraging birds such as yourself have had a rough couple months, is it truly the chickadees' fault that I refill the birdfeeder every Monday and Thursday, ensuring that those usually slight and sprightly creatures are in contrast rather round and lethargic? Why must the chickadees suffer as a result of my overzealous maternal instincts? More than that, have you considered the consequences? What if the chickadees grow wise to your treachery, and learn to avoid the beckoning perches I have so carefully created for them? Your inability to resist a quick inter-phylum snack could very well bring about your demise, as the agents responsible for the plentiful rain of discarded seed on which you feast slowly grow wise to your reckless abuse of trust, and abandon you in frightened flight.

Seriously. Think about it.



Sincerely,

cmyr