Birds chatter at their feed and seeds disappear on cue,
To danger, few pay heed, some finches, not a clue.
Suddenly losing their taste, some fly to sanctuary brush,
Not a moment to waste, for death glides on a hush.
It had sat in brushy tree, sizing its gathering prey
In queue on feeder lee — parrot-like and blue-gray.
It comes on silent wing, swiftly, from the forest.
Target locked, unknowing, its life to be wrest.
Kestrel swoops under container, inverts talons to capitalize.
Expertly executes full gainer, startles finch to act unwise:
Not staying inside its cage, it darts toward brushy haven,
Its one hope to disengage, it dodges from aerial maven.
But hawk’s hat trick works well, finch is prize of her foray,
Talons pierce its body shell, feathers puff and drift away.
American Kestrel, small falcon, to old-timers, Blue Darter —
Snappy oviparous lexicon — sparrow hawk, agile, smarter.
Nature sometimes is raw, it’s said, red in tooth and claw,
Raptors eat meat, by law, opportunely fill their craw —
But small birds and tweeters, I’ve lured, seeds to swallow,
These innocent kernel eaters, on raptor menu won’t allow.
Have wrapped feeder in mesh, double caged entry, egress,
New protection for flesh, new hope against raptor regress.
If this doesn’t work at all, or strategy I can’t define,
If bird lives still fall, drastic action — be mine!
© 2008 R. Leland Waldrip