Thursday, March 3, 2016

Chickadee Generosity

I love the generosity of chickadees. They fly to the bird feeder and pick up a seed or two. Sometimes, they throw seeds out of the feeder, onto the ground below. Shortly afterward, the ground feeders arrive--juncos, cardinals, and squirrels. And, well, oh heck, other chickadees aren't picky, they'll eat off the ground as well.

Bird feeders are all very well and good for perching birds, such as chickadees, goldfinches, and woodpeckers. But cardinals are shelf feeders; they generally don't go to a perching bird feeder. And juncos scavenge whatever is on the ground. Fortunately, there is something on the ground, thanks to the chickadees, who offer quite a good proportion of their own meal to whoever comes next.

What if we offered a third or a quarter or even ten percent of our assets to others who could really use a decent meal?

The chickadee doesn't know, for sure, that sunflower seeds will be in the feeder tomorrow. (Sometimes, we do go on vacation.) Every third visit or so, they fly off with two seeds in their beak, which they may "bank" in the bark or crotch or hole of a nearby tree. But they are giving away far more than they put in the "bank."

I aspire to be as generous as a chickadee.

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