Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bird Brain

It was 8:30 this morning, and Paul had left for work more than an hour before. Both girls were strapped into their car seats, ready to take Ellie to school. I stepped back into the house to gather up the necessary bags, and heard something at the back of the house.

This is odd, I thought. It's impossible that anyone is back there, so I'll ignore it and go about my day. But, as impossible as it was that there was anything in the house other than the sleeping dog on the chair in front of me, I was not imagining the noise so I went to investigate.

And I found a robin throwing itself against Ellie's bedroom window. I pulled down the shade (silly bird. but in his defense, Ellie's room is a lovely garden theme with blue skies, white clouds, and gently rolling green hills.) and headed out the door.

When Ada and I got home a couple of hours later, the robin was still flying into the window, despite the closed shade. "Thump. Thump. Thump." And so forth.

I opened the shade. I closed it again. I opened my window, which is about 10 feet to the north of Ellie's and suggested that the bird scram. To my surprise, it would fly away to cavort with other robins in the yard - we seem to be beset with them this year - and then come back to fling itself against the window some more.

After he'd put in a full 8 hour shift at this, I printed out a picture of a cat and taped it to the window. The silly bird kept flying into the window, again and again. In between assaults, he'd perch on the roof of the shed that's right outside Ellie's window happily crapping and planning his next fling. The window is really marked up, by the way. I hate to think about exactly what all those smudges are from.

Anyway, the bird finally gave up around dusk. I hope he doesn't come back tomorrow, but I bet he will. Another robin has recently built a nest on top of the flood lights that illuminate our patio, several feet away outside Ellie's other bedroom window. Perhaps it's this bird's mate, and he's just terribly concerned about becoming a parent?

We've always had a bit of a bird situation around here. This would probably be a good house for amateur bird watchers fascinated by really ordinary species. First, we had the mourning dove situation. Then we had the noisy nesters, which had me calling exterminators for the last two summers, sure that I had mice running around in my walls. We also have the snakes - which live underneathe the crazy robin's shed - and the possible developing colony of feral cats. Why won't one of these other critters take care of my bird problem?

Any suggestions for what I should do if he comes back for another day of it?


Krupskaya said...

A flying-hawk silhouette? That's what I put up in our windows. You can make your own, but here's an example:

thistle said...

Is it possible he thinks he's attacking something? A robin actually essentially dive-bombed me once when it thought I was threatening its baby. Maybe something in your window looks potentially like a threat to its babies?

Sarahlynn said...

Krupskaya, it rained today, but if he comes back tomorrow, I'll replace the cat with a hawk. Thanks!

Thistle, I don't think so. It's a pretty clean window, which he attacked when the unbleached or -dyed "natural cotton" shade was up or down. But that's a good thought. There's a "kite" on the wall across from the window, which she might have seen as threatening . . . if she could see through the window shade!

Kristi said...

I've known people to swear by owls--much like the hawk idea. You can even buy fake owls to hang from a tree branch or perch in a garage to scare potential nesters away. I've been trying to think up a way to attach one securily to a patio umbrella so we don't have to hose bird crap off our deck every other day in the summer...