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Bird Wars

They are back, again, those pesky nest-building birds which are making good use of the holes pecked by woodpeckers into our wood-sided house. Woody’s cousins have moved on for the time being to juicier locales, but left behind good-sized holes in the siding which are perfect for holding nests built by smaller birds.


As I sat working on this issue this morning, I could hear birds flapping their wings inside the walls of my office doing who knows what damage to my home. If it weren’t for the built-in shelving we had installed in this office years ago, I am afraid I would be dodging birds which broke through the walls. I don’t know who would have been more surprised -- me or the birds.


As we have learned, pounding on the walls does no good in deterring the birds from their work, as they prepare for babies. So I decided to take things a step further. Last year I bought two big plastic owls for the sole purpose of having them attached to the high corners of my house. (Alas, I was never able to find someone to come and do this.)


As for the owls, rumor has it that their blank, still eyes (see for yourself on the left) instill fear in the hearts of smaller birds. Since owls don’t move much, the trespassing birds might think my replicas were real -- brown plastic aside.


So today I tied one of those plastic owls to the rungs of a small deck off our bedroom, essentially on a level with the holes in the house that were being used to hold bird nests.


So far, I haven’t heard any rustling inside the walls since then so maybe the birds are getting the drift. I suppose it’s possible that they may observe things for awhile and decide that the owl is not going to move -- ever, and is not a threat to them. But I’m hoping by that time they will have found other quarters.


Stay tuned for updates.


Nesting Birds 2, Guard Owl 0


I’m sure that having read the last issue of Boom This! you were anxious to learn the results of my securing a plastic owl to our second floor deck to scare away the birds who were building nests in our house’s cedar siding.


Suffice it to say that the experiment was a bust. The birds, who have continued to drag pieces of stuff into the holes in the house to feather their nests in anticipation of babies, barely have given the owl a glance.


I still hear the birds flapping around inside the walls and will soon be treated to the incessant chirping from baby birds encouraging their mamas to bring back choice bits of food. The chirping will last for a couple of weeks -- again -- and I will be forced to play loud music on my computer (something I don’t usually do when I am writing) to drown out their squeaking voices so I won’t be driven out of the room entirely.


I guess this is just another instance where nature is taking its course, instead of mine. Not surprising.


More Owl News


A Boom This! reader wrote to tell me of his friend’s experiences with using an owl to ward off pesky birds:


“I have a friend who put an owl in his flower beds to keep birds out. The birds went so far as to do their business on the owl’s head as a visual opinion of the effectiveness of the owl. My friend’s neighbors then abducted said owl and took him along on many of their vacations. There’s even a photo album showing the owl on a cruise, in Hawaii, at the beach, in Europe and all over the U.S.


If you can’t beat ‘em…


As for my current situation with the birds nesting in my home’s walls, I haven’t heard too much activity lately. I don’t know if they are just being quiet before their eggs are laid, or if they have found other quarters. If that’s true, I think it has more to do with me banging a jar of M&M toys against my office walls every time I heard their presence than anything the watchful owl is accomplishing from his perch above their holes.


Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp!!!


Well, suffice it to say that all of my antics to prevent baby birds from being hatched inside the outside walls of my office were to no avail. On Saturday, the chirping started from the baby birds and has continued non-stop since.


If you should ever have such a problem, and are interested in keeping your sanity, keep in mind that the scary owl with the glowing eyes did not deter the mama bird in the least NOR did a crazy Baby Boomer banging a jar full of M&M toys against the wall every time she heard birds visiting the nest, pre- babies.


So I am left with a last resort: Crankin’ up the Kenny Chesney!




By Teresa K. Flatley



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