Monday, February 9, 2009

9 FEB 2009: birds return to my backyard

My backyard in Connecticut is still half-covered with snow and my pool is still covered with canvas and vinyl. I don't expect to see the first crocus pop up for another week or two.

But the birds are back.

Seven years ago we had a big awning installed over our rear deck -- mostly to provide shade for Hunter, our Golden Retriever. But he's not the only animal to take advantage of it.

Non-descript birds quickly constructed nests above the supporting brackets at each end of the awning, and became unwelcome neighbors by dropping nest-building materials and bird shit on our deck.

In the early years, I tried to evict them. I destroyed the nests (but first made sure their were no eggs or babies in them). My best efforts were no match for the birds. They quickly rebuilt their homes.

I provided a professionally-made bird house, with a food supply, about ten feet away from the awning. But the critters were not interested.

I realized that the only way I could eliminate the bird mess was to eliminate my awning, and I would not do that.

So finally I decided to live and let live, and settled into a policy of benign cohabitation. I got used to cleaning up the droppings, and enjoying the songs.

Spring is coming. Each day we get a few more minutes of sunlight. The planet is warming. Five PM is now daytime, not night time. Pretty soon Hunter will be swimming in the pool and my 1974 Fiat convertible will come out of the garage.

So, welcome back, birdies. It's good to see you again.

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