Friday, June 3, 2011

Bye Bye Blackbirds

I always wondered why I heard the birds so clearly from the vacant unit in the back of our shopping court.  Well, I kind of suspected why, but I just didn't have the time to take on another project.  But yesterday, I was forced to face the problem.  How could a bird be living above the ceiling and, apparently, thriving?   They need food, water, and I suppose they'd like a little fresh air and sunshine once in awhile.  (i get that way once or twice a year.)  So, when they started pooping through the cold-air returns, that was above the radar, the Mrs. mentioned that the bird poop might have something to do with the cheeping.   Next thing you know they would be hacking into the WiFi and texting Al Quaida birds living in the Axis of Evil countries.

So, I got the ladder and popped the ceiling tile.  At the time, there was a Cheep-Fest going on up there.  These were not very advanced birds up there.  A bird on one end of the room would say "Cheep" and the bird on the other end would answer "Cheep" and the birds outside would chime in - you guessed it - "Cheep" again.  That was the whole show -- "Cheep".  I think I'd rather wait until it comes out on CD.

When I poked my head in above the ceiling, I found myself looking directly into the beady little eyes of a black bird with a yellow beak.  She just stared at me, from not more than two feet away - no cheeping, just staring, as if she could put a stink-eye on whatever I had in mind.  From the other end, a bird who hadn't gotten the word, said  "Cheep", but this mama was busy, and didn't answer.  Over on the other end, there was a wad of grass and sticks, and this was where the other "Cheep" came from.  I left her tile open, in case old Yellow Beak decided to come out on her own.

At the other end, I saw that the grass and sticks had been tightly wedged between two iron beams.  I got a waste-basket and began to haul down the collection.  After about half a bushel of crap, a little brown bird came flapping and plopping down into the wastebasket.  He was now very quiet too.  Sooo,, Smart Guy, who you callin "Cheep" now?  I took the wastebasket outside, and dumped it on the ground.  The brown guy flew away.  Seemed pretty mature to be living in a nest, but, I guess there are people too who still live in their mother's basement just because they can.  All the while, the first bird was watching quietly from the other end.   She would be a hard one to get out of there.

There were at least two bushels of material between those beams - sticks, grass, debris.  One thing puzzled me - how could they get a two-foot twig in through such a little hole?  The entryway - a gap between the masonry and the roof flashing, only about 2 inches diameter.  I wasn't going to plug the opening before I knew that there were NO birds up there.  As I cleaned up all the debris, swept up above the tiles, and the floor. I wondered how I would know for sure that they were all out.  The next time I went up into the ceiling, I couldn't see the mama.  I could feel her sharp little black eyes looking at me, but from where?   I replaced all the tiles.

There are certain "cheeping times" in the morning when every bird seems to be out and about, and that's when I'm going to seal up the hole.  Mama was NO help. She'll have to keep an eye on the "Rafters Wanted" section of  Craig's List.

Thanks for listening and contributing. I'd love to hear from you.


Lydia said...

Sounds like mama is a recluse!! good to know birds aren't the only ones whose kids stay at home too long...

leslie (crookedstamper) said...

The fun just never ends, does it? :)