When we eat dinner out we may suffer inconvenient forty-five minute standing or scrunched-together sharing of hard benches; the early bird has no wait if sparrow or person. Sparrows always eat out and dine more frequently than our metabolism would allow. A fair comparison to our dining out would be the sparrows’ visits to my garden feeder instead of the garden coneflower seeds. Their wait is often crowded and seating can be short lived; diners learn quickly that their eating moments are short as their place at the feeder is constantly challenged by other hungry birds. Coneflower and other seed heads are abundant and allow each sparrow leisurely eating time with little to no wait time. Our garden feeder’s waiting space is the surrounding shrubs decorated with any combination of sun, heat, clouds, cold, rain, snow and wind.
I have observed sparrows use the shrubs as cover during stormy weather as they wait their turn at the feeder, hiding deep within the tangled frame. This also serves as a safe inner sanctum when the Red Tail Hawk pays one of its monthly visits. I enhance my observations afterwards by zooming in on images I’ve created; I’m able to see details missed earlier. The cropped scene in this last image shows the precariousness of outdoor waiting by the feeder. I’ll think twice about feeling uncomfortable when next I share a bench waiting at my favorite diner.