I have never been a big fan of birds. I just don’t like them. I like the fact that they eat bugs, but don’t care for the idea of them wreaking havoc in my garden. I tie pie tins to the tomato cages to try to scare the birds away from the garden.
Unlike the people whose garden we passed the other day. They seem to be inviting birds to dine in their garden. They got their plants in already. Cool. They used the landscaping canvas to eliminate weeds. Awesome. And then they put up a bird feeder mere feet from the garden. Bad plan.
They’re going to draw the birds in with the feeder and while they’re there, they’ll just happen to notice that whole section of fresh plants right there to feast on. That’s a very bad plan.
I’d be happy if the birds stayed out of my yard altogether. So of course, we ended up with another bird family on our back porch this year. Another year of having to duck every time we go in or out the door.
One year, we had a robin build a nest in the porch rafters at our camper. Somehow, I managed to forget that fact every time I went in or out and got dive-bombed by an angry bird. That nest came down the minute those babies were done with it.
When we moved the next spring to a camper on the other side of Dave’s dad, guess who had the robin’s nest on his porch. But, guess who the bird gave a hissy-fit to every time we left our porch.
The next spring, a nest appeared on our semi-enclosed back porch at our house. It’s all closed in except for the open space above the half door.
I have to admit, it’s a pretty smart place to put a nest, if you’re the bird. It’s warm, dry and out of the elements. A nice place to raise a family and that’s exactly what that robin couple did.
Including dive-bombing us every time we had the audacity to go in or out our back door. And then it was over. The babies were up and out and Momma and Daddy packed up and left.
I wanted that nest out of there, but lacked the spirit to do it myself. What if there’s an unhatched egg or a baby that didn’t make it up there? Yeah, I’m not doing that.
I asked our No. 1 son to remove it, but he said that was more in line with his wife’s skill set. I asked her the next time she came over, but it was too late. A new family had already moved in to the nest.
How did we get new tenants in the nest? How did this little bitty bird couple know there was a "move-in ready" nest on our mostly enclosed back porch? Did the robins advertise it somehow?
And evidently, it wasn’t as "already furnished" as I thought since the new birds added an upper floor to the nest. They both took turns hanging out in the nest. She was no big deal, but he was a nightmare. He seemed to have serious directional issues.
She flew right in and out through the space above the gate. When it was his turn, he’d do a couple of laps around the back porch before finally finding his way out. I was afraid the crazy bird was going to end up in the house.
Eventually, we saw little faces up in the nest. Then Mom and Dad stepped up their game on the number of trips they made on and off the porch, working hard, working Saturdays, to feed those babies.
But probably not as hard as the robin at Pap’s camper porch this year. Those are some big babies. Big, angry babies. All you see in that nest is heads up, with mouths gaping, squawking and screeching for something to eat.
That robin Momma is working her tail off. Or maybe Momma and Daddy are both there and that’s why it looks like she’s everywhere all at once. I can’t really tell male and female robins apart.
The little birds at our house are easy to tell apart. He’s got a blue head and hers is more tan. Their babies don’t seem to be lacking at lunchtime either and they didn’t do a bunch of carrying on. They went from a few little faces up there to "holy moly those are grown-up birds in that nest." How do they even all fit in there?
And then they were gone. Or so I thought. They were really just in the backyard taking some flying lessons. I hope the Mom’s teaching that class because the Dad’s a bit of a whackjob.
Now that they’re airborne, I don’t know if they’ll be needing the nest any more or not. I guess birds only need the nest to hold eggs and babies. After that, they just hang out wherever they happen to be, with no real home-base.
When I’m sure they’re not coming back, and Dave and I are truly empty-nesters, I would like to have that nest taken down before we get the next batch of high-flying tenants and they turn that nest into a high-rise.