“We have called this meeting to negotiate over the use of the feeder,” said the crow. “As I am too large to use it, I have been chosen as mediator.”

“Yes! It is time to end the finches’ domination of the best food source in the area,” cried the sparrow. “Those bullies have chased the rest of us smaller birds away until there is nothing left but scraps!”

“And yet, why is it that whenever we have a moment’s feeding time, we are always chased away by the cardinals?” retorted the finch.

“You look at us when the cowbirds are using the feeder too?” cried the cardinal, fluffing his feathers and extending his crest. “Those parasites are gorging themselves on seeds before leaving their eggs in our nests!”

“Oy!” burbled the cowbird. “Ya best not be droppin’ inside yer own nest afore ya tell others ta clean up, eh? Cor, the cardinals’re fightin’ ’emselves as much as they is us!”

“Fighting that just scares us all away,” said the dove sadly, “meaning we just have to come back to eat more.”

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