by Kevin Burton
Got a military briefing from the Burton family Secretary of Defense last month.
If you’ve been reading Page 7 from the beginning, you might recall we had some difficulties with animals on our front porch last year. I talked about it on what other than the blog’s introductory post, was the best read article of 2019 (Unwanted Visitors Had Us Crying Fowl) Sept. 8, 2019).
That was the nature of the new report.
“Those birds are back, trying to build a nest,” said my wife.
Last year, having built a nest on a light fixture, the birds bore and weened their young, leaving us no rent, but a pile of poop smack dab in the middle of our porch.
We decided to wait them out, for the sake of the kids and rejoiced when they finally left. We knocked down the nest thinking it was the end of the story but it was only the end of the chapter.
Funny how what one day this Spring sounded like indistinguishable chirps, the next day sounded like “Let’s twist again, like we did last summer…”
After the new report, action was required and action was taken. No birds were harmed in the making of this sequel, except perhaps their feelings.
So sorry (not sorry) to be the heel, but this year is different.
The virus threat has put and kept constant pressure on all of us. Everything has to be rethought, sometimes rethought again.
I read stories of big cats at major zoos catching the virus from their human keepers. I read articles stating that humans couldn’t catch the virus from animals, but these articles offered up not one syllable of scientific proof.
Did I think we were in danger of getting the virus from birds? Not really. But on top of everything else going on we were not in the mood. I resented our having to put intellectual energy into dealing with it.
So here’s where my wife got creative. For the operation, I sacrificed a pair of shoestrings, cutting them into short strips.
She punched a hole in five six-inch strips of Reynolds Wrap. She tied the strings through the holes. She then took the kind of push pins that you use to hang things on a bulletin board and pushed through the string.
We then drove the pins into the top of the porch overhang near the light fixture.
So what we had were five little strips of Reynolds Wrap hanging by the light.
Then we waited.
The reflection coming off the aluminum foil is supposed to seriously disconcert the birds. My wife got that from Google.
Soon after that, my wife did some work on a flower bed. The flowers were an excellent cover for the reconnaissance mission. I’m sure that’s all it was. No other reason to be messing with flowers.
She saw the birds circling the target light fixture but not landing.
I wanted to shout “check mate birdbrains!” But I restrained myself, as it turned out, with good reason.
The birds figured out after two days that the foil presented no real danger. They probably thought we were going through some sort of Andy Worhol phase. They began construction anew.
From there we just got real basic, boring but effective. What my wife did, was simply wash off the light fixture every day for weeks, removing the partial nests.
They haven’t been back lately and we think they got the hint.
God provides the birds with an inner sense of when their babies will be born. They needed to have some sort of nest in place and we presented them constant difficulties.
So we think they are gone. But a remedy we have in reserve is to have electricians remove the light fixture and replace it with one of a different shape, one that birds can’t build on. With labor, that probably gets us for about $100. That would be very annoying but to end the bird saga once and for all, might be worth it.