Bird Feeders: The Awful Truth

Mallard ducks swimming in front of warning sign at Weeki Wachee Springs

I assumed that Zoe and her grandma were feeding ducks when they took bags of bread to Lake Ripley.

Sure, Zoe and I often had exchanges like this one:

Me: Did you and Grandma feed the ducks today?

Zoe: No.  We fed the birds!

But we’ve also had exchanges about the relationship between horses and ponies, so I figured Zoe was just being her stubborn three-year-old self.

Then, I tagged along on one of these bird feeding expeditions.

You guys, the three-year-old was right.

It’s not ducks she and Grandma have been feeding on all these trips to Lake Ripley.  It’s gulls.

Second grade school girls from Calipatria clutch pintail ducks. They are studying banding and migration at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, March 1973

Now, let the record show that I am no great lover of birds.  Feeding ducks is one thing–especially if they’re in the water and you are on the land–but feeding gulls . . . I was not prepared.

Of course, Zoe wasn’t scared.  As 542 hungry gulls (Pro Tip: slight exaggeration) descended on us and our hunks of slightly stale bread, she grinned with delight.  “The birds are coming!  The birds are coming!” she announced with awe and joy. “They’re flying all around!”

So, I set aside my own horror and enjoyed my daughter’s joy.  I threw bread (as far away from myself as I could).  And when Zoe asked me to walk with her to the shady park across the parking lot, I immediately agreed.  “The shade is much better,” she said.

Amen, little bird feeder.  Amen.

Andean Gull

This was pretty much the scene. Obviously I did not take pictures myself, so thank you, Wikimedia.

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Filed under Marvelous Miscellany, Your Moment of Zoe

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