It’s Christmas time so I put some free food out for the birds.
I say free—
The birds could get their beaks on the seeds only after agreeing to give me access to their list of family and friends, private bird photos, the GPS coordinates of their nests and control of their bird webcams and microphones.
In the 30 days to 19 December, 86% of blue tits, 92% of snow buntings and 100% of robins were content to hand over personal data in return for seeds, nuts and fat-balls that I had got from Lidl.
I continued to access the data long after the birds tired of the empty feeder.
However, I realised I had no system in place to analyse the information or set it to work in any way. Luckily, a jackdaw offered to buy it off me.
The jackdaw pooled the data from my freemium feeder with other data culled from similar programmes around the village and bundled it into packages, which the canny corvid sold on to a local murder of magpies.
Armed with this detailed intelligence, the magpies were able to run granular searches and create finely-targeted campaigns to raid the personal nests of the garden birds, whose babies they then stole and ate.
Nature’s pretty grim, I know, but it’s not my responsibility.
It can’t be, because the birds who wanted to use my service entirely for free could not do so until they agreed to a stringent disclaimer absolving me from responsibility in the case of third-party actions from raptors.
I think you’ll agree my freemium bird feeder is entirely awesome.