*From SVBC Member Jo Davidson*
It was rainy this morning, so I sat inside watching the birds through the window. The seed feeder is in perfect view from my usual seat in the family room. Northern Cardinals, House Finches, House Sparrows, greedy European Starlings and even greedier Common Grackles were making short work of finishing off the seeds. A tiny Chipping Sparrow was also trying very hard to find a spot to grab a morsel or two. Just then I saw the squirrel guard (a slinky is highly efficient for the purpose) bouncing up and down, and the Chipping Sparrow stuck its head between the feeder and the circular perch that surrounds it, perhaps to relish the fact that the squirrel in question was having even less luck getting to a meal. I chuckled momentarily, and then gasped as I realized that the bird wasn’t moving any more. Its head was down and its tiny tail was upright and quivering. I quickly ran outside, and slowly approached the feeder to see for myself. Sure enough, the poor little thing was well and truly stuck! I carefully put two finders under that tiny little bird belly and gently pushed upward until the wings cleared their constraints. In a split second, all was well.
I never considered that bird feeders could be dangerous. To make sure that can’t happen again, I will shop for a seed feeder that either has far less room between the container and the perch or dowel perches. I hope you all will do the same.