For the Birds…

I have a love-hate relationship with birds. As a young girl, I observed another child’s scary experience in the bird aviary at the Seneca Park Zoo when some captive birds attacked her hair!

As a teen, when cutting our grass, barn swallows would dive bomb me on the riding lawn mower and while I cleaned the pool – both my Saturday jobs.  It was not fun!

But, as a young adult at college, I was able to witness a Great Blue Heron return to the pond on a professor’s property year after year in the spring. The majesty of the bird and the wonder in my professor’s eyes caught my attention!

I started to think that birds weren’t that bad after all. For years now, I’ve fed the songbirds that return to our yard in the spring. I’ve hung a hummingbird feeder, and track their migration. I relish at getting the change to photograph bald eagles searching for food on the river or over the cornfields by my house.  I’ve even come to appreciate different types of hawks, vultures, and woodpeckers. We have five blue birdhouses, made according to official plans by my husband, lining our property.  And, I’d love to spy the owl that hoots occasionally (who cooks for you) in the middle of the night outside our bedroom window.

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Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay

So, I’ve learned to appreciate birds. I am certainly not afraid of them like I was when I was a young girl!

But, for the last two weeks, we’ve had a problem with some very persistent Robins!

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Image by LouAnn Clark from Pixabay

They were trying to make a nest in our garage! We’ve had this happen before with swallows. However, the robins were making a huge mess by pooping all over my car (in the garage) and our van (outside the garage). My husband removed the nesting materials (no eggs) several times. We ended up hanging CDs on fishing line to deter them. After several repositionings, it seems to be working to keep them out. However, they are now sitting on the vehicles outside of the garage, doing their “duty!” We are trying to keep the garage door down. This is hard, though, when we are moving in and out all day due to having to stay at home. Still, we thought we won the fight with the robins.

But, a few days ago, I saw one fly past our front door window. Uh-oh! Yup! You guessed it! The robins had found another spot favored by the sparrows in the past – the front door light fixture.  We tried the same tactic as the garage. When removing the nesting material as it arrived, the robin just kept bringing it back! After dinner last night, I had my husband hang a wind chime near the door. I thought both the movement and sound would deter the bird.  We waited overnight. This morning – debris was back. The robin had been busy again!

Mid-morning I caught my husband searching the internet for what to do about this problem.  We had seen some bird silhouette window clings at the USFWS building we visited on Wednesday (just on the windows) and thought maybe that would work. But, we’d have to order them. This is a problem we have now. I dug around in our basement for something that would move and make more noise than the wind charm.

How about the scary skull we use at Halloween? I asked my husband when I came up from our storage room.

“What? You’re joking, right?” he said somewhat exasperated at both me and the birds!

I thought it was worth a try. So, we inserted new batteries and took the skull outside. We taped it to the top of the light fixture where the bird is trying to nest. Time will tell!

Now, it’s my turn to scare the birds! Karma’s a B……!

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