He considered them a great pest on his farm, along with gophers, which I was also encouraged to shoot.
One day, I had my chance. A Magpie was sitting in a tree about 50 yards away, partially hidden by the foliage.
The Magpie didn’t flinch. It fell over and dropped from the tree after a direct hit to the head from a .22.
It was the last animal I can remember ever killing in the 53 years since.
The last few years, my mind has been torn about feeding the birds. My neighbor takes great delight in hoisting feeders all over the trees. They attract all kinds of birds, including Hummingbirds. The birds in our neck of the woods surely don’t need to be fed any more.
But even if the birds DID need my help, I have resisted the urge for a bunch of years. “What if they become dependent on me?”
Besides, the same neighbor also has a very fat cat. A cat that eats birds. So maybe I wouldn’t be doing the birds any favors.
I have a very small patio, facing the trees, and the sparrows of late have been pecking at the cement in hopes of finding seeds.
I’m feeding the birds.