Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Battle of the Bird

We have a transom window above our front door. It doesn't open; it's just for decoration.

As such, there is a little bit of a ledge. Apparently, just the right depth for a bird nest.

Or so a particular robin seems to think.

I don't think so.

We use the front door a gazillion times a day. We have a three car garage in the back of the house which we access via an alley. The garage is full of unorganized stuff, so we don't park in it. That's a story for another day. (I know, I think I've been saying that for a couple of years now.)

I am not parking on the driveway, walking around the garage (in the generally wet or snow covered grass), and across the back patio to reach the back door.

Oh. My. Gosh. That's like, 60 feet. At least.

It is so much faster to park on the street and be just a few feet from the front door.

Anywho, back to the bird.

A couple of months ago, I noticed a bunch of grass and whatnot on the front porch right in front of the door. I swept it off into the mulch.

The next day, it happened again. This time I also observed a robin heading toward the house and making a dramatic turn when it saw me.

Gears started turning in my head. No, there wasn't any smoke emanating. I've use my brain often enough to know you have to spray some WD-40 up there once in awhile.

I made my eyes all squinty-like, pursed my lips and thought to myself, "That bird is trying to make a nest up there."

Now, I don't have an issue with birds building nests. I know there would even be interesting learning/observation moments for the kids. But I can't have a bird nest right above my front door.

Birds poop.

A lot.

And their nest isn't their bathroom. It would be my front door and porch right below the nest. I have a home based business and I can't have a front door that is constantly covered in bird poop. Also, since this is our main point of entry, I can't have a bird dive bombing us every time we use it because we're getting too close to the eggs/baby birds.

Sorry, birdie, we were here first. You are going to have to go some place else. A tree perhaps - there is one only ten feet away with a nice amount of leaves to provide adequate coverage. There are even a couple of other places where the pillars support the roof of the porch that would be good nesting spots.

Just not right above the front door!

Well, I couldn't have him building his nest there so I scooped up all his fallen materials and threw them in the trash. I wasn't going to give him easy access so he could just try again.

After I threw away the mess, I saw him up in the transom window trying to build the nest. AGAIN! Doesn't he get that there just isn't enough room up there????

I opened the door, screamed, "Bah!" at him, and he flew away. I looked like a crazy woman in my bathrobe screaming, "Bah!" at my front door for a couple of days afterward.

Whatever he was using to try to build the nest wasn't staying up there anyway. I was constantly cleaning up my front porch and filling my trash with twigs, dried grass, that netting they use to keep sod together, etc.

After a few days, I didn't seen him anymore and thought he had found himself a nice tree to make a nest in.

Until yesterday.

Let me mention we'd just had a real nice storm and the ground was sopping wet. Some would call it muddy.

The bird would call it glue.

Yup, now he had dried grass & twigs & mud.

When I woke up and walked down the stairs, I could see something in the corner of the transom window. More eye squinting and pursed lips. "That bird is back."

I grabbed a coat hanger and knocked down what little he had up there. I scooped up the meager mud hut beginnings and threw it in the trash.

I took my shower and got the family ready for the day.

An hour later, as I walked down the stairs, I actually saw the bird in the transom window with a mouth full of muddy grass. He saw me and flew off into a tree. Where he belongs!!!!!

I grabbed the hanger and knocked down a bigger wad of mud and grass. As I was doing this, I heard, "Gack! Gack! Gack!" I looked at the bird and said, "Don't you talk back to me. You can't build a nest here." I was very stern. I even wagged my finger at him.

I had to run out for a bit. When I returned an hour and a half later, that gosh darned bird had an even bigger wad of mud and grass up in the transom window.

Obviously, my stern warning wasn't enough of a deterrent. I know, it doesn't really work with the kids either. I don't know why I thought it would work on something that didn't even speak my language.

I marched up the porch steps and grabbed the coat hanger. I left it out on the porch earlier. Perhaps it was a passive attempt at a threat, but that didn't deter the bird either.

I flicked the mud off that ledge and it landed with a splat.

I needed a new plan.

To the garage!

After a brief search, I came up with water balloons. Hard to believe it was a brief search in that garage, but it was like a beacon of light was shining on the balloons. Not really, they just happened to be at the end of an eye-level shelf right in front of the access door.

I blew up several and tied them to a string. Ran to the basement for a nail & a hammer. Scrambled to place a chair under the transom window. Stretched on my tippy toes to hammer the nail into casing and tied on my string of balloons. That bird was getting faster at building his mud huts so I had to execute ASAP.

The fluttering balloons should keep him at bay.

I'm determined. I. WILL. WIN.

Silver Lining:

  1. 24 hours and counting and there is no more mud in the transom window.

  2. I've always resisted putting any nails in the casing around the door and transom window for Christmas garland so my front door has always had just a boring wreath on it. It's a pretty wreath, but just so cliche. Now that the first nail has been driven, I might as well put in some more when I go to put up the Christmas decorations this year.

  3. I'll get a head start on those Christmas nails. The balloons are pretty deflated today so I'm going to evenly space some nails and hang old CD's from them using fishing line. Hopefully, they won't be to obvious from the street (and get me in trouble with the HO association), but will flutter enough to keep the bird away.

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