When Susie and I moved to our retirement community apartment, we put up several bird feeders on the outside of the window in our sun room. It draws a steady clientele of goldfinches, house finches, wrens, and even the occasional bluebird. Our new cat is mesmerized by the birds and spends long hours perched on a little step stool, inches from the birds, hoping against hope that the pane of window glass will disappear so that she can get at them.
This morning, unexpectedly, a robin showed up at the feeder. For those of you who are not bird enthusiasts, a robin is a rather large bird, six or eight times as large as a goldfinch. As the robin ate its fill of bird seed, the finches and other little birds flew around, intimidated by the robin and afraid to land in the feeder.
For the very first time, I came to understand the original meaning of the familiar phrase "pecking order."