Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dear Bluebird: Please Go Away

After living cheek by jowl with you all last summer, I wasn't sure I wanted you back in the little nest house by our porch window.   But yesterday, seeing that splash of orange and blue at the top of the bare ash tree and hearing the familiar song did momentarily gladden my heart.

But only  momentarily.  Do you y'all birds have long memories?  Because we humans do.  I remember how thrilled I was when you first appeared around my house, and your wife  built a nest in the nest box.  And when, sometime later, I peeked in and three wobbly jack-in-the-box heads sprang up, tears of joy sprang into my eyes.

Your children grew shiny blue feathers and began casting eager looks at the outside world.  And then one day all five of you disappeared without a trace.  I had expected the fledgelings to hang around for a while, cheeping on the patio and flying up into low bushes, the way most baby birds do.  But instead they vanished overnight and left me wondering what catastrophe had occurred.

A few weeks later you and your wife came back, and she fixed up the nest and laid another clutch of eggs.  And that's when the trouble started.  When I heard the first loud bang on the porch window, I thought you had forgotten that the glass was there.  But that was followed by another bang, and another, and by much barking from Wolfie, who thought you were trying to effect an unlawful entry into our house.

I worried that you would give yourself brain trauma, but when I looked closely I saw your claw prints on the glass.  You weren't accidentally banging your head against the window.  You were purposely attacking it.  And you went on attacking it from morning til night, furiously and without respite, for the rest of the summer. 

We put yellow stickies all over the glass.  We hung large sheets of paper on the inside, then hung them on the outside.  Nothing worked.  You hit so hard that the glass shook.  And with every blow, Wolfie barked.

Then the weather cooled and the days grew short, and you and your spouse finally departed.  We breathed a sigh of relief.  When I went to clean out your house, there were three eggs inside.

When I saw you on that ash tree yesterday, I thought you might have turned over a new leaf.  But I was peeling carrots in the kitchen later on when I heard that familiar bang, followed by the familiar bark.  And there you were again, trying to break the window.
Have you never heard that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds? How about Einstein's definition of madness:  continuing to do something even if it doesn't work?  No?  You say you like flying at the window?

You're supposed to be the bluebird of happiness, not the bluebird of rage.  Please don't put us through another summer like the last.  That nest box is not your only housing option.  There is a nice dead tree with just the western exposure you favor at the bottom of the driveway, convenient to both grass and gravel.   I think you and your wife might be very happy there.

9 comments :

  1. Could he be seeing his reflection in the glass and think it's a rival male?

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    1. whaledancer, we did suspect that, and hung sheets of paper on the outside of the window as an experiment, but he still attacked!

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  2. I think the simple solution would be to move the nest box. Quite a way, I would say.

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    1. Irene, that may very well be what we'll end up doing. But it's so nice to be able to watch the courtship and nest building etc. at such close quarters.

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  3. Maybe he wants you to move your house away from his ;-)

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  4. That's it! We'll have to get to work on it right away.

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  5. Lovely. We have friendly tui nesting near to us - I saw one swooping at the window when there was a reflection recently - but generally they cooperate. Regular tapping/knocking/banging into the window though would drive me crazy!

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    1. "Friendly tui"--you have no idea how exotic that sounds.

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