Welcome to the Bird Channel. We start broadcasting in the half-light of dawn and close at dusk each day. Our programming may seem repetitious to some, but rest assured we have a dedicated audience who never fails to check in first thing each morning. Customer loyalty is not a concern for us, at least in winter. We're the only entertainment available. We're currently broadcasting 9.7 hours a day, but will expand to more than 15 hours daily by summer.
Today our first program, Chickadees, opened at 6:54 a.m. The Chickadee quickly grabs a sunflower seed from the tube feeder then hastens to a nearby bush to pound the shell off. By 7:03 a.m., a few Juncos stop by, along with the first finches. The larger actors sleep in.
Gracie (left) and Cadbury, the Chocolate cat, both joined our viewers last spring, and have become steady watchers of the Bird Channel, especially on the snowiest days when we run specials: the cast multiplies and the action is busier than usual. There's so much activity, our viewers have been known to remain glued to the screen for hours, but generally they intersperse their viewing with Catnaps and Kibble.
By 7:23 a.m., just after sunrise, Scrub Jays make their first appearance, along with the local Magpies, who have only fly-on roles except when there's suet out. Shortly a hundred or more Red-winged Blackbirds come onto the set, adding to the excitement and color. Though regulars, their mass appearance and disappearance generate audience enthusiasm. Suet also ensures that other cast members, like the Flickers and Downy Woodpecker, will show up for work.
Throughout the day, performers act out their assigned roles, in harmony with the consistent rhythm of each day's script. Occasionally a guest appearance by a star, like Artemis the sharp-shinned hawk, introduces dramatic elements and new character interaction. Less popular characters, like Pigeons and Starlings, are often spotted but their contributions tend to be overlooked.
To ensure continuous programming, uninterrupted by commercials, feeders are now being filled the night before each day's broadcast. Our shows range from sitcoms to drama, but we never bore our viewers with talk programs. A wide assortment of talented actors keeps the characters familiar to all, but the action varies from day to day. Programming varies seasonally, with new characters introduced each spring, but we always take care to avoid reruns. Stay tuned-- we'll be on the air til 4:30 tonight.