Having no “fowl” feelings against the birds


By Karl Terry

CMI Columnist

People who read this column think I’m a bird hater. I’ve got letters to prove it.

I’ve written with my tongue plastered firmly in cheek about my travails with swallows that netted me a hand-written note from a very nice local lady extolling the virtues of the little critters and berating me for being so beastly.

What they don’t know is it was all bluff. My porch is still plastered with mud dauber nests even though it desperately needs painting. I think the happy couple on the porch is nesting now so I guess I won’t be painting this spring.

In an even more outrageously authored column about a pesky woodpecker I still wasn’t immune to the tsk, tsk of a few readers.

Actually I love birds, my wife serves chicken at least three times a week. If that doesn’t prove it, consider that I spent $5.95 on a new hummingbird feeder after the old one developed a leak. I could have gone for the “cheap-o” model for $1.99 but I wanted the little darlings to have a perch to sit on while they drink sugar cocktails mixed in my own sink.

I’ve got to say the hummingbird business has been lively this spring since I put in the new feeder. I’ve got a shaker of salt at the ready to sprinkle on the next hummingbird’s tail. If I can catch enough of them this summer I’m going to put them all in a giant pillowcase hold it above my head and fly to South America this fall.

I also own my very own birdbath that gets refilled every time it rains. Yeah, I know that’s not very often these days but I found that if I filled it myself in these drought times the neighbor’s cat would immediately jump up into the thing, get a nice long drink, then hop down and hide in the bush nearby to wait on birds.

With the Lesser Prairie Chicken in all the headlines lately in these parts I suppose you would all like to see this big grouse take a stance on the plight of that little grouse.

I guess I can’t remain neutral on the debate any longer. After all since my wife knows many of my relatives came to the prairies of eastern New Mexico while the chickens were plentiful she figures my ancestors must have e’t most of them.

I can’t speak for great-granddad but I myself have never tasted prairie chicken, either Lesser or Greater. I was on a hunt for them once, but alas the birds eluded us that day. However, once when I was in high school I did narrowly miss a prairie chicken with the grill of my Ford one blustery afternoon in downtown Portales. Habitat is apparently anywhere a 60 mph breeze takes you.

No, I’m not a bird hater, but the day my government tells me I can’t remove a swallow’s nest from my porch is the day the house gets a new coat of paint and the swallows find a new home.

Karl Terry, a former publisher of the Quay County Sun,  writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:



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