Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Birdseed Bandit

I am quite attached to the birds that live around my house. I've been feeding them for years, and am now convinced that they recognize me, cheeping and peeping when I come outside with the seed scoop in the morning. "She's here! It's time for breakfast!" they seem to be saying. The rufous sided towhees sometimes fly right down into the bushes while I'm putting out the seed, eager to hit the birdie buffet. The only problem with this arrangement is that bird feeders attract bears. After Mama Bear and her cubs began visiting in the spring, we had to take the feeders down. It just wasn't worth risking a surprise encounter, particularly given the presence of the cubs. When some time had passed and it seemed that the bears had moved on, I began sprinkling just a small amount of seed on the sidewalk and along the top of the fence. This works pretty well because the birds are able to eat it all in a few hours, so it doesn't stay out there long enough to attract the bears.

But recently the seed has been disappearing very quickly. One minute it's there, the next minute it's all but gone. This strange occurrence happened several days in a row last week.

I realize that the birds take care of the food pretty quickly, but not that quickly. Where was the birdseed going? Was a thief at hand? Of course, I suspected the most likely culprit, my eternal birdfeeding nemesis...

Until one day I noticed Katie sniffing the birdseed on the sidewalk. Why was she so interested in the seed? That seemed odd, so I went to investigate. As I got closer it looked almost as if... "KATIE!" I shouted. "What are you doing?!" Was she eating the bird food?? Surely not! Dogs don't eat sunflower seeds, thistle, and nuts. Do they? That could be dangerous. I seemed to recall that certain nuts are toxic for dogs. I called her over and asked her if she had been eating the bird food.

She didn't say anything, but that was a mighty guilty look. 

"Katie-Sue, is that a sunflower seed shell stuck to your whisker??"

The next day, I caught her red-handed...or...pawed. I told her "No!" and we had a serious talk about the possible dangers of eating bird food. Just to be on the safe side, I make sure to watch her now when she's outside with me. No point having her flirt with temptation. But really. What kind of dog eats birdseed?? I have never heard of such a thing! Silly dog! Well, at least the mystery of the Birdseed Bandit is finally solved. Between the squirrels, bears, and Katie, it's a wonder the poor birds get anything to eat at all! 


  1. She looks completely innocent to me. It was the squirrel. Really, it was. :)

  2. My boy Phoenix will eat *anything* so he would be happy to join Katie snacking on birdseed... ;-)

  3. Think bird food so tasty. Once, ate half bag of rat and mouse food! Are not alone, Katie. Be awesome and eat whatever you want!

  4. Half a bag of rat and mouse food?? LOL!! Well, it is good to know that Miss Katie the Birdseed Bandit is not alone. And apparently birdseed is not particularly bad for dogs, as she has suffered no ill effects. But then again, when I was a child the family dog ate an entire chocolate cake without incident, and chocolate is supposed to be quite dangerous for dogs. So I guess you never know.

  5. Murdoch eats birdseed. But then Murdoch will eat anything.. although he does particularly love birdseed. He can often be found hanging out under birdfeeders.