There’s a squirrel in my yard that sits on the little stool in the feeder and eats a kernel of corn there.

There is yet another squirrel that picks off a kernel, jumps up to the top of the feeder and eats while sitting on the roof.

Then there are the blue jays, which are supposed to eat out of the bird feeder. But since the squirrels occasionally hang upside down from the branch and steal the bird feed, the jays have decided that turn about is fair play.

I love the jays, because they are audacious and raucous and obstreperous. And they don’t flinch for one minute if a squirrel comes too near. Squirrels don’t pose a threat to these brave souls.

They are the John Waynes of the bird world.

Then there are the doves, of which there are many more. But their numbers in no way increase their bravery.

They also like to feed on the squirrel’s corncob, but not if there are any squirrels, or blue jays, around.

They are the Casper Milquetoasts of bird-dom, and I am a little tired of their wimpiness.

I am also tired of their calling, on and on, every morning for what seems like hours. I can’t mimic their oo, oo, oo, but it is very wearying, carrying throughout the neighborhood incessantly. I have often wondered if it is really the doves, or am I hearing some pigeons from another location?

The squirrels eat only part of the corn kernel and then just leave the rest. They are the Oscar Madisons of my neighborhood.

The jays eat the whole kernel. The doves consume whole kernels and also clean up the leavings of the squirrels, which gives them a little better score in my avian rating book, I guess.

Have I mentioned the sparrows? Well, I know God’s eye is on the sparrow. I am glad He is watching over the least of his creations. But He can have total care over them, as far as I am concerned.

I think these are probably English sparrows, which means they came over here uninvited, with their chirpy British accents. Dare I compare them to James Bond? No, probably more Eric Idle.

Once in a great while, if I put out the right kind of birdseed, a beautiful red cardinal will show up. Since he sings a nice song, I will dub him the Frank Sinatra of birds. Or maybe Harry Connick Jr.

Last, but certainly not least, is the official Texan, the mockingbird. Like the jay, he is afraid of nobody. Not even the occasional cat. He is the Davy Crockett of my little bailiwick.

Cathy Gillentine is a columnist for the Daily News and can be reached at

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