A funny tale of man versus mama birds
Gene Roberts, a neighbor of mine in West Point, Ga., sent me a funny tale of man versus beast, or in this case, man versus mama birds. In his words:
“The story is ongoing right now with a mother bird tending to 4 or 5 or 6 large baby birds on my front porch supported and suspended behind a ping pong net.
“This story began several years ago when I got tired of cleaning and scrubbing off the front porch beneath the bird nests built on top of the front porch columns that support the roof structure. Birds would habitually build nests atop these columns sheltered by the roof to avoid the sun, rain, and cats.
“Plan A to deter the nest building and the mess was to build a triangular wooden cover over the tops of the columns so there was no flat surface. I made 6 triangular covers. Not hard to do and nail together. The birds would have to build a nest on a steep slope and it shouldn’t stick. So the birds began to use the little corners where these triangular wooden boxes met the posts. Birds 1 Gene 0
“Plan B was to put a small rounded molding all the way around the porch inside of the thin flat surface at the bottom of the wooden strips between the posts. No problem for the birds. The nests and the mess continued. Birds 2 Gene 0
“Plan C was quirky. The birds loved the corner posts best. So I assembled 3 basketball-sized wire balls about 18” in diameter using interwoven pipe cleaners. You could see through them but they were very flimsy. The birds avoided them but built elsewhere. Birds were ahead. Birds 3 Gene 0
“Plan D was simple. Ping pong nets around part of the inside of the porch moldings. The birds built elsewhere but I did still have a nest or two. Birds 4 Gene 0
“The year 2018 was to be the “pièce de résistance.” I put ping pong nets all the way around the inside of the porch moldings and superstructure. All was well until one industrious mama bird was able to push down a ping pong net and start a nest behind it. Sure enough 5 baby birds recently emerged, mama bird fed them and they have now flown away. Birds 8 Gene 0
“I need to obtain a licensed “birdbrain” anti-nest installer with the title of “Super Duper Whopper Bird Nest Flopper Stopper.”
West Point, Georgia