Monday, April 12, 2010

We fought a good battle, but they may have won the war...

We've lived in our home for almost 8 years now. Within the first year, it was obvious that we were about to embark on a territorial war that we hadn't anticipated on.

A bird family decided to set up house on our front porch. It could've been swallows...or maybe even sparrows. I don't really know, to be honest. What I did know was that they were adorable, with their tiny chirping sounds.

The 1st year sharing our home with them wasn't so bad. It was sweet to watch from start to finish...the building of the nest, the mama bird laying on her eggs which would soon hatch and then we'd watch her fly lovingly back and forth all day long finding food for her scrawny babies.

The 2nd year is when we started to sense animosity. The same family came back and eagerly set up house again. But this time the temperament had changed. It was as if they were laughing at us..."You poor infertile humans...do you need a manual on how to procreate?"

The 3rd year was when the war began. We debated letting them join us again when they began to dive-bomb our fearful cat and crap all over our new welcome mat, which now was more like a "welcome to our shit-hole" mat.

This year, I said to Tim, "Okay, we gotta beat them at their own game!"

With the first sign of their return, Tim immediately took down their nest. We high-5'd each other...a sure sign of triumph.

But the birds returned....again. They were not to be thwarted. Another nest was in the making before we knew it.

Once again, Tim took down the nest and he bought a plastic owl to put up in the corner of the porch, with the hopes of scaring the birds off.

Did that stop them? No. They just stared down the owl, flipped it off and built a nest in the opposite corner.

I said to Tim, "You're NOT gonna believe this but they're building another nest!" He groaned and mumbled, "Damn owl..." as he took the useless piece of plastic back to Home Depot.

From then, it was game on. The birds were no longer scared of us when we could come out onto the front porch. They would just stare us down, as if we had some nerve to be invading THEIR property.

Tim knocked down the nest again, with a determination I had never quite seen in him before. I was turned on...the birds were pissed off.

The very next day, the birds were back but this time they seemed to have a new bravado about them. They had a new plan...

...called: Tag Team. One bird sat guard over the nest while the other went out searching for twigs and mud. When that bird came back to add his findings to the nest, the other bird would set flight in search of more stuff.

They stood watch over their nest for a good 24 hours.

But the birds didn't anticipate that we were standing watch, as well...knowing that, sooner or later, they'd tire of sitting in the same place for hours at a time. They had to eat at some point, right?

As soon as they abandoned the nest, Tim took it down AGAIN.

And he went a step further...he purchased some wood and some screen netting and immediately went to work building a barrier, which would prevent the birds any access to the ceiling of the porch.

So yeah, not the most attractive look for our front porch but we had to do something drastic...something that would scream "STAY AWAY"!


As Tim worked, every once in awhile, the birds would fly nearby and take notice of his handy-work. We'd hear a flurry of angry chirps and fluttering of busy wings, as they flew off to a distant tree to discuss the next step in their hostile takeover.

The next day, we noticed the birds kept flying back over and trying desperately to knock the screen down. I have never seen birds more determined than these two.

Tim was even kind enough to put one of the nests in the tree in our front yard but these are birds who like to be in control. No one was going to tell them where to put their nest.

On Friday morning, I heard a bunch of tweeting by the front door. Lo and behold, the birds were back....building another nest right underneath the barrier screen.


I immediately ran inside the house and yelled, "I hate to tell you this...."

Tim interrupted, "Are you SERIOUS?! Where on earth could they be putting their nest NOW?"

He ran out to see the birds scrambling as fast as they could to get their nest up for the 4th time in one week.

I said, "I'm starting to feel bad for them. Maybe we should just let them stay this year, one last time. We can hire a professional next year to help us".

"No," Tim replied. "This is OUR house! I'm just going to keep taking their nest down even it kills me!"

Problem is....I think it's become a man thing now (click where it says "click to start")



To be continued....

* No birds have been harmed throughout all this, physically speaking anyway. I'm sure their little egos have taken a hit though. If they do happen to lay eggs in one of the nests before we're able to take it down, please be assured we won't disturb them. Just had to throw this little bit in here for my fellow bird lovers.

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60 comments:

High On Craft said...

What an epic tale of courage, bravery, determination and teamwork! And that's just the birds! Such cute little things - they look like swallows?? Perhaps you could put up a little house for them nearby? My parents put up swallow houses every year and every year it was fun to watch them return.

The Boob Nazi said...

Oh man, we used to fight birds in nests when I lived in Sacramento.... sigh

Jen said...

Yeah, I think that you just need to let the birds stay. They have sort of earned it.

Evonne said...

I think they earned their keep this year.

We had a bird way on our back porch a few years ago. We also have a cat that lives outside. I haven't seen those birds in a while. Maybe they just decided to relocate!

natalee said...

LOL!! I think they think they are family....

Amy said...

what a wild bird story..

Happy Monday..

Queenie Jeannie said...

LOL! Keep us posted!!! This is too funny!

I will say at least it's birds and not BATS!!! UGH! I had a similar problem and let me tell you it's wayyy worse with bats!

Brooke said...

my dad used duct tape to keep birds from building on our front porch one time. yep, we're that redneck :D

Creative Junkie said...

We had the same deal with birds in our gazebo. Nate would knock down the nest and put a rock in its place. Soon, all the rafters were covered with rocks and I feared a concussion for anyone who walked into the gazebo.

Now, we have stupid stupid ducks in our pool and I am out chucking soccer balls at them every morning.

singedwingangel said...

get a bird house.. then they will go in there and leae your porch alone lol. and you might keep some sanity ..

Omotee! said...

like, SERIOUSLY?!?! i didnt know birds could be that smart!

in my place, we would have suspected them to be witches or something... lol!

PS: i wouldnt let them stay too except they're willing to pay rent!

Kim said...

Well, now you have no choice but to get rid of them. Knowing these birds (which I feel like I do), I don't think the war will stop if you let them stay. So stay strong or you may spend your summer avoiding diving birds while cleaning poop of the porch (and children)!

Thanks for the laugh... really funny story!

Nezzy said...

Yep girl, what ya'll have there is the very persistent and territorial Barn Swallow. I battle these birds every blessed year. I too embraced them the first time they built on the carport just about the French doors lifting my children to watch the progress of the baby raisin'.

This has become over a thirty year project. They come back, their youngens come back to build where they were born and their children...ya get the pic. They drop mud on my car, around my door and down the side of the house. The bird poop, oh baby that's a story of it's own. I have hung rubber snakes, CD's and sprayed noxious smells on the eves of the carport. I've stapled rolled plastic, stuffed Walmart bags and used foil paper. I feel for ya girl....it's war!

If ya'll figure how to win this one let me know...and I'll do the same.

Have a marvelous Monday ya'll!!!

Nezzy said...

BTW: The barn swallow only nests on the side and under the eves of buildings. They will not use a bird house or build in trees. Sorry, I've studied these opportunists at great length.

Annie said...

I don't have any advice.

Have a wonderful week.

Twins Squared said...

Ugh. I say let Tim keep at it! Pesky little things! Mike put a bird feeder up in our backyard. At times I like having all the birds but when I start seeing bird poop all over my patio I'm ready for it to go. We had some birds trying to build a nest under our front overhang too but I think it was too skinny or something because it never really happened. They need to take lessons from YOUR birds!

As for my girls being good sisters, I wish I could tell you the secret. My guess is it's because they're girls. They're very empathetic to the little girls and love being the big sisters, esp. Kaitlyn. She is SO tender-hearted and loves playing with them. And maybe Bella is only like that some of the time because the little ones are boys? I could see where you might be less tender with more boys running around?

Dee said...

Aww, let them stay. LOL

Angela Cooper said...

OMG that was too funny. This reminds me of a blue jay family that lived in our house in CA. They would be sooo loud at night time and then in the daytime they would choose to procreate in front of the kids. I would chase them and the kids would be laughing saying the birds were playing tag LOL. It was ware between them and my hubs until he got locked out in the dark with only his underwear on. Needless to say the birds won that war. We ended up moving back east not because of the birds but of other circumstances. Good luck. Can't wait to read how this turns out.

Menopausal New Mom said...

Talk about determination, yours I mean Lol! I had trouble last year, they were trying to build a nest in my dryer outlet vent on the house on the seond storey where I couldn't reach it. I would hear them flapping around in the dryer hose and finally, I had to call pest control to get them out and put a cage over the outside dryer vent. It can be hard to change their minds about where to build a nest as you well know. Can't wait to read more :)

Amy W said...

Oh dear. We have a similar story about - bunnies. They won't leave our garden alone! I welcome all advice on that one!

Charlene said...

LOL...I'm glad to say that I have never had this problem. I think our dog scares everything off, he barks at everything and anything that moves.

Kristina P. said...

That is hilarious. I guess it's time to extend the olive branch to them and let them stay.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Wow, I think I'd have given up long ago! That is a crazy amount of determination on the birds' part. I think I'd be a little afraid of them.

The Mother said...

We have recurrent nesters in the hanging baskets on our front porch. We love to watch the little ones learn to fly, and (so far) we have felt no animosity from our boarders. Must just be a different species.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

Wow! Your husband is one determined guy; a good trait in a man. Could he come over and get rid of the racoons who live in our tree and taunt us with their sharp, ugly teeth and threaten to eat our dogs?

The Blue Zoo said...

Aw, I do kinda feel bad for them. But its not my porch they're crapping on! Good luck!

The Step In Mom. . . said...

I am not suggesting the following as a solution... just saying.... We had the same issue with birds building a nest on the support beam below our deck, but we basically gave up. Then on Fathers Day 2008 I was below the deck throwing an extension cord up to my Hubby, and there was a Black snake on the opposite corner of the support beam, with a big egg shaped bulge in its side. The adult birds never came back after their eggs were eaten. Maybe you could just steal the eggs and they would leave? Or put a toy snake up there?

We live in a Zoo! said...

Lol! Good luck with that.

Shell said...

At first, I thought this was going to be about trying to stop the kids from taking over the house. That's a battle that I've lost.

Mimi and Tilly said...

I'm a bird lover. I feel I need to state that up front. They are nesting in the eaves of my house right now and build nests in my garden each year. And I feed the little blighters...

Savvy Little Women - Kate said...

Oh my! I can't imagine dealing w/ birds! Yikes! Hope you get rid of them soon...

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Personally I am not a bird lover. Ever since we had birds that dive bombed me every time I mowed the grass. I actually had to carry a tennis racket to defend myself!

Eva Gallant said...

I had no idea they could be so determined!

MamaHen Em said...

Oh it would be GAME. ON. My parents had an old truck sitting outside and some birds built a nest on the side mirror. My dad, out of kindness, didn't drive that truck all summer until the babies left the nest.

Angela said...

I'm hav'n that war inside with my 6 kids! I can't imagine fighting the territorial war with birds outside my home as well. If it comes to that, my DH might just pack up and move! He already complains that he doesn't have any space for himself! And What? Like I do? Does he think the Laundry room and kitchen is where I LOVE to just Hang?!!! Good luck!

Mommy24cs said...

We are currently battling a family of wasps on our back porch. I'm thinking I'd rather have the bird problem. Maybe.

I'm trying to catch back up with everyone. Hope you and your family have been well and looking forward to reading more about you all! :o)

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

We're fighting a very similar battle this year with our new covered patio. My husband has literally taken a nest down every.single.day. for the last week! The only consolation for me is that our girls (15 months old) LOVE to watch the birdies outside. :)

Good luck!

Marianne said...

psh, i'd fumigate the shit out of every inch of my house before I let a bird set up shop. HELL NO.

but then again, you already know I hate birds. And PETA can go apeshit if they want, I bet none of them have been pooped on 4 times and chased countless others, have they now?

I'll come visit when the situation is resolved LOL.

2wired2tired.com said...

That is crazy! I can't believe how determined they were to build a newst there. I'd be right there with you guys wanting it out, it's definitely become a standoff! :)

Tropical Mum said...

Funny, this week's theme must be birds. Yesterday, I wrote a post about one I was trying to save. I might have felt differently if it was one that was dive-bombing family members and crapping on my welcome mat, then it would be off to the vet for that bird, (not really).

Come visit and you'll see what I mean.

Can't wait to read the end of this story by the way.

Shelly

Jenny said...

Oh no! What a pain in the butt! Didn't you have one get in your house once?

Tracie said...

I would have surrendered a long time ago. But I'm lazy and don't have Man Ego.

shelley said...

hi helene,
i haven’t stopped over in a bit so i thought i would so so and say “hi” and see how life in your part of blogesphere is… that was hillarious, we have a similar problem with squirrels around our house though they are such a pain in the butt and nothing but nothing gets rid of them, ahhh mother nature! lol
smiles,
shelley :)

Donna said...

WTfrick, Helene!!!?!!? That's some cah-razy she-ot, girl!

Tim gets a ten for persistance and creativity! Do NOT show him Nezzy's comments(s)! 30 years? I mean, google it, girl - get on it, hire someone, do what you have to do! Thirty years!?! Grandbirds?

sheesh!

Gisela said...

Can't wait to see where this continues. We had robins build a nest under our back deck in 2007...I remember we first saw the babies was on my son's first birthday. I hoped they'd come back, but they haven't. Instead now we have a resident groundhog. In the middle of the city. I don't like her. Yes, we know it is a female- she's had two litters now. I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

Megan said...

Oooh, birds. My arch nemesis. Along with spiders and snakes and dragon flies. And pretty much anything else that lives outside.

I'd tell you to stay strong, but those are some dang smart birds. You don't want them figuring out a way to move into your guest room, so maybe it's best that they're just outside.

debi9kids said...

All I can say, is at least it's birds. We have had both bats and squirrels make our home, their home and it was absolute HELL getting them out. (and the little buggers come back...every single year as well! ACK!)

Seizing My Day said...

Since you need MORE advice.... ;)

what about putting a bird feeder and a bird house or two in a tree near your porch... or just beside the porch... if they find the feeder ... they will surely find the house... right?!

or get a cat... I am telling you... THAT works! ;)

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

Gotta give those birds credit for being so persistent. I think you should let them stay and enjoy their happy chirps. I'm sure they won't hurt your cat and the cat would probably enjoy watching them. I'm cheering for the birds--boo Tim!

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

Have I ever shared with you my fear of birds? Well, last year the girls and I made a bird feeder which broke. I had tons of seeds left over so I sat some out on my deck in a shallow dish. When the seeds run out - they taunt me, chirping, they fight over the last few seeds - it is ugly! Oh, damn the birds! (I have a future post on them soon)
I loved your post. Birds are definitely persistent! Please keep us posted the war between hubs & the bird!

Laffylady said...

I think we just found termites but Im not sure yet..that s----...hey dont forget to pick a fav post..we're already up to June...Have a Great Day..!

Nancy said...

WOW. Now that's dedication! Dang.

mama of 4 said...

Oh my. What determined bird you have LOL!
BTW I left you an award on my blog :)

Ali @ Mommie Life said...

Last year when we moved into our house we did A LOT of remodeling!! One of the projects was moving the washer and dryer from the kitchen (yeah, weird I know) and replacing it with a fridge and some cabinets.
Apparently the workers didn't think to close off the dryer vent with anything and we had black birds stuck behind our fridge and cabinets.... They would fly down and be stuck for hours flapping a freaking out before finding their way back outside... UGH.... So I know how you feel...
Plus just behind our backyard is a tree farm, so I have to go outside with my dog when she does her "business" to protect her from the killer birds too... I hate birds now!

Good Luck!! :)

Mrsbear said...

Birds...We have grackles in the avocado tree, dive bombing the dogs. Then there's some manner of bird that broke through our soffit vents and are skritching around in our ceiling. I love nature and all, but keep your dang distance!

shortmama said...

Those are some determined aka stubborn birds! We have a bird family that makes a nest on the eve of our roof every year too. Except they are by the carport and not by the front door so they arent annoying. We just let them be and watch them fly in and out

Karen said...

We used to have birds that built a nest in a tree right outside our front door. I sort of miss them. Even if they did dive bomb my cat.

HOA Mgr Lady said...

Nix a lite - google it is is awesome stuff. Easy to use too.
Ruth

Missie said...

Those birds are very territorial. We had a problem like that when I was a teenager. We ended up having an animal trapper come, take the birds away and free them far, far away from our house. They never returned either!

The Lane Family said...

Oh My Gosh!! These birds sound as stubborn as my almost 2 year old Kaylee.

I always think it is funny when my husband decides to take charge of something and he is unwilling to give-up no matter what!!

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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