Oil on canvas, 30x30, special online price $500A cloud of black birds has been visiting our feeders these past few days, and I do not like them. I do not like their numbers, or their voracity, or their deep, bleak blackness.
Because of the studio renovation (it's going well), I am writing and doing my computer work at the kitchen table, looking out over the snowy yard. I like watching the little birds come to the feeders. I like the mundane ones, the chickadees and titmice and wrens. I like the way they puff their tiny selves up on these frigid days, and scratch in the snow for seeds, and flit through the gray mornings.
I like the cardinals, too, and the bluejays, and the way their colors flash against the snow. Goldfinches are coming by, too, and though they're not at their brightest now, they give a hint of yellow.
But these black birds, starlings and crows and grackles, hundreds of them show up together, a nasty, mean mass of birds. They darken the branches of the trees, and descend en masse to the feeders, and strip them clean. They chase the little birds away, and while I know the black birds have to eat, it is like a gang of teenagers terrorizing a group of kindergarteners. Like having marauders in the yard. Like having death itself come visiting.