Enjoy the ‘circus’ at your birdfeeder

I took a break from shovelling snow the other day to enjoy the activity around our birdfeeders.
To me, watching birds is like entering a new world. The entertainment is as dazzling as the feats at a circus.
I hope, with the following narrative, you also will experience the show. . . .
Welcome to the biggest white top arena on the planet–the outdoors. Under this cloudy tarp, there is a circus of birds.
To enjoy this extravaganza, all you need to do is lay your shovel down and make your way to center stage.
The performance takes place at the birdfeeders. Yes, those are the ones. Now just find a soft place in the snow and let the show begin.
Here come the entertainers, swooping in from behind several curtains of trees. Listen to their wings whir and the band of chimes and chirps play.
A greeter will make sure that you’re comfortable. He’s a Whisky Jack, and he’s landed right at your toes.
Don’t you think he’s dapper in his puff-chested gray tux and trim black hat?
Behind him is a chorus of tiny chickadee girls dressed exactly the same. Look at how they bob and twitter along the handle of your shovel.
It’s a good thing you laid that down. It’s getting put to good use.
Just as small are the tricksters called nuthatches. Look how they climb down the tree trunks head-first. They are so fast, and crack nuts using only their long, pointy beaks.
They don’t break the concentration of one busy little fellow, though. It’s the mechanically-moving downy woodpecker—and he’s making insects disappear.
He jolts his body like an old-time cartoon star. How can he pull those insects from the trunk? Well, he has a long, sticky tongue hidden up his beak.
Wooooosh. A chase is on. It’s time to introduce the antagonists—a boisterous gang of blue jays. They bark and boss from behind their white masks.
How proud they are with their dark sideburns and sapphire and pearl capes. Look at them as they throw their tufted heads back and scare the other birds.
But not all the birds are aflutter with fear. Above is a royal couple–a pair of pine grosbeaks. The queen is adorned in her golden crown while the king is draped in red.
They are so upright and fine. Do they even hear the violently piercing trills below?
There on the ground are two wild-furred beasts called squirrels. How these brutes tumble and tussle. Wow. See how they climb? Look at them soar at the tops of the trees.
Do they even know what could happen next?
Far out on the horizon is a creature against the white-tarped sky. It circles wide and looms in closer, waiting his cue.
If you listen, carefully, you will hear the hush-hush-hush of his wings. If you watch closely, you will see his forked talons hanging low.
What you can’t see, however, are his fixed, sharp eyes and his crooked weapon of a face.
This eagle will perform the finale.
You might want to close your eyes. Soon the show will end.

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