Dear Not Miss Manners,
It was my understanding that at the end of November, humans have a celebration called “Thanksgiving” which involves a big feast that includes a bird as the centerpiece of the meal. As a Cooper’s Hawk, that sounds like my kind of holiday. I also thought that humans have a tradition of inviting family, friends, and neighbors to said repast. So I showed up at a house in my territory because I’ve always wanted to try African Pied Crow (don’t they look delicious?) When I arrived at mealtime, there was no warm welcome. Instead, I had to chase the APCs around and no one showed up to help me through the mesh. I’m totally OK with a self-service buffet, but I would expect the food at least to be accessible to guests.
I have to admit my feelings are hurt. Am I justified or am I missing something?
Dear Gentle Coop,
I often find human behavior inexplicable so I can imagine it must be very perplexing to a juvenile accipiter such as yourself. In this case, however, your expectations were a bit high. As a self-invited guest, it is not appropriate for you to dictate the menu. If you have any dietary restrictions, however, it is acceptable to make those known. So if a human tried to serve you leftover potatoes, you could politely point out that you are a carnivore. You are, of course, also welcome to help yourself to any sparrows or other tweety birds who may be flitting about the yard. That said, you really can’t expect the humans to make their avian companions available for your dining pleasure.
Apologies and homage extended to the one and only Judith Martin.