Sunday, 15 January 2012

How to tame your human

Be a bird.  Robin is best.  If you can’t manage that, try blackbird, or any kind of finch or tit.  Avoid magpie, jay and pigeon (disguising yourself as a dove doesn’t work).  If you find yourself lumbered with being any kind of raptor, gull or duck, forget it, you’re on the wrong career path.

Find a suitable human.  Your parents will probably have done this already.  The human will have a garden, a good nature, and a bird table.  Learn to exploit these assets.
Learn your human’s behaviour patterns.  They are often very predictable, and with practice you can influence them to your advantage.  Observe the times at which the human tends to go into the garden, and try to be seen eating the last few seeds on the table at around those times.  Organise yourselves into tidy queues, by species, making sure that this is noticed.  The human will stand there for several minutes, watching you and possibly going ‘aaaw’.   At this point, fly away.  Usually, the human will go into the house, emerging with a bag of seeds.
If that doesn’t work, perch on a nearby branch and fix the human with that cold, unblinking stare that says ‘I am the descendant of dinosaurs.  I will be here when you are a faint trace in the planet’s memory.  Obey me.’  That should do the trick.
If you are lucky enough to be a robin, you can exploit the human by being cute, like human babies.  Humans are very susceptible to emotional manipulation.
If all that fails, go down the chimney and peck the bastard’s eyes out.


  1. Spot on their Tim! I rushed out yesterday to feed my blackbird while I was eating breakfast. It was just sat on the wall, looking hungry. Don't get me started on the hurdles the robin has me jumping through :)

  2. We have people in the vicinity who are proper tits. That aside, we've seen the odd Nuthatch hereabouts. A treat, indeed.

  3. I'm well down the, ahem, pecking order Tim!

  4. If I am a bird seeking fame & plaudits, I think I'd be a booby. For sheer showmanship, the backward flip to catch the little silver fish in the aquamarine - & smooth exit, will draw applause or gasps of wonder from the human.

  5. I rented a small flat in the mid 1990s and one day I came home to find that a starling had gained entry via my chimney. He did not attempt to peck my eyes out but he did crap absolutely everywhere.

  6. I can be coerced into digging up worms.

  7. Mrs R, welcome! I caught a sparrowhawk devouring the remains of a pigeon today. Not sure whether to be pleased or appalled.

    Martin - what with the local tits and nuts hatching, best block your chimney with an old pillow.

    Rog - yes, I know your surname ...

    Soaring - I remember that show, but they don't do it to get fed by us, do they? Brown boobies, frigates, albatrosses - total no-shows on my bird table. Shame, I'd have the wildlife picture of the year.

    Liz - similar experience in my caravan last year, a robin in that case. Definite love-hate relationship there.

    Z - blimey, that's a side of your character I hadn't detected before ...

  8. Well, I am very fond of worms, but fonder of birds. And very obedient.