Generally, I like birds. Since we’ve moved to Seward, I hate them.
While the movers were bringing in couches the other day, I heard a large “snap” outside. I looked out of a window to find half of a fan blade (from the front porch fan) laying on the floor. My intitial thought: “Ah, crap!” … “I wonder why that would have happened.”
A few days later, the porch was covered in straw, feathers and muddy leaves. Peripherally, I also caught glimpses of birds swooping to and from my porch rafters. After a few more days of observation, I figured out why my fan blade broke. The dumb birds were using it as a landing spot and then as a makeshift springboard to launch themselves up under the rafters.
Here’s a picture of the damages:
(The solution: Yes, I know we need to put up bead board. It’s on our list of things to do.)
It was evident that these birds were building, had built, or were re-modeling nests all along the ridge of my wrap-around porch. One morning two weeks ago, I found three, just-hatched, birds dead on the porch. They never stood a chance as they didn’t even have feathers. This grossed me out, but I picked them up with latex gloves, chopsticks and a plastic grocery sack.
Four weeks in our new home and I have swept numerous times, wiped bird poop off the hand rails and hit the windows in an attempt to scare away the feathered pests.
My humane patience has dwindled, and today I snapped when I found another dead baby bird on the porch.
My mom stopped by for a few hours so I put her to work. I dragged out a ladder, the kid’s small rake, gloves and a brown paper bag. I climbed the ladder and skittishly dug around seeing if I could dig out any nest. All the while, I was deathly afraid of touching a baby bird, finding eggs, or being dive-bombed by mom who was loudly protesting from the tree.
After a few short minutes, my mom said, “get down and let me try.” My mom is fearless. She isn’t afraid to get dirty or get hurt, she will pretty much try anything –well, except for sushi. She’s full-blooded German and if there is a task to be accomplished, she pulls on her big girl panties and gets it done! She inherits it from Granny; she caught a mouse bare-handed once.
Three hours later, the nests were gone and the porch has been hand-scrubbed and rinsed. The birds clearly missed the “you are not welcome here” memo because I keep finding them on the rafters. I’ve tried spraying them with water and chasing them with brooms. I’ve made loud noises and typed this while occupying my porch chair, in an attempt to establish dominance. I even stuck the dog out to “scare” them away; she was not effective.
I think I might be buying some bead board tomorrow.
Jessica Brashear is married with two children. Read her blogs here on momaha.
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