Shoo, Bird, Shoo

The birds are back.

One small but inordinately vocal (and tenacious) feathered species has apparently added the Collier house to its annual Spring Virginia tour. Without making reservations but with plenty of brass, the little buggers descend on our alcove and set up house. Their intentions are focused: to mate and nest. I don't begrudge them their space; and I certainly agree that, given our stellar view of the Blue Ridge, it's a romantic spot for getting your groove on. However, we have a history now, and we've proven this doesn't end well.

It would be disingenuous of me not to confess that cute as they are, these birds are a pain in the tooshie. Their incessant, shrill chirping makes you want to gouge your eyes with a hot poker. Then do it again. A lovely birdsong is one thing. This sharp, metallic chorus is another thing altogether. And the shit, oh the shit – it's astounding the amount of mess a couple tiny birds can unload. If that ratio held for humans, I can't begin to fathom what changing diapers in our house would have been like. 

Besides the noise and clops of poo and the other filth the birds bring, there are altruistic reasons why I've decided that this time the birds can't stay. One year, a young toddler son (whose mother, by the way, had repeatedly told him to keep his grubby paws off the eggs) tried to sneak a small white pearl into his bedroom. He had lined a box with grass and twigs and hid it under his dresser. He wanted "to help the birdie grow." Needless to say, the bird did not come of age. Another year, our dog pounced on a nestling just after she cracked through her shell. Our boys are still working through the trauma. I could go on.

The cruel truth is that our house is not a gentle haven from which mommy and daddy bird can succor new life. Mere feet away from their chosen perch, we have a lush, sturdy tree they can inhabit, and I'm happy for them to do so. Only, not on the porch. Not this year.

But these birds refuse to take no for an answer. Yesterday morning, I gathered the ladder and cleaned out the beginnings of their 3 bedroom / 2 bath build. A couple hours later, I looked out only to see fresh foliage had returned. This has happened six times so far. Six times I've cleared out their sprigs, six times they've packed them back in. These chirpers are watching me, feathers crossed over their chest, saying, Listen, pal. I can do this all day

The story that keeps playing in my head is Jesus' parable of the widow who hounds the unjust judge until he caves and hands the woman her request. Since my options for characters I could play in the story are slim, I don't care to draw too many parallels. However, I do find my resistance wearing thin. 

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