Mornings and evenings usually begin with ThrillCam and me sitting out on our back patio: me drinking my coffee, him staring at his Purple Martins, us listening to the water trickle down the pool’s waterfall.
It’s a beautiful beginning and ending to our days.
During these times, we are finding ourselves more and more intrigued by all the different birds that fly around our house. We have a ton of beautiful red Cardinals, some Blue Jays, Mockingbirds, Finches, Sparrows, Doves, Hummingbirds and even Road Runners!
Bird watching, to be honest, has never been my thing. I mean, I like them and all…
I love Mockingbirds (the state bird of Texas!), especially, for their constantly changing chirps and songs.
I love Road Runners, thanks to Warner Bros. cartoons. (“Beep. Beep. Zip-tang!”) (Please tell me you get that reference. Please.)
Oh! And, I love doves, because they are so tasty.
(Sort of. Okay. Not really. They are pretty, lovely birds to look at, but they are also pretty and lovely to eat.)
In the past, for me to sit and watch, and really notice birds?…not so much.
Thankfully, all that has changed.
Last week, we found our peaceful mornings disrupted by some bold and pesky little birds.
A set of Barn Swallows (or Chimney Sweeps, as I grew up calling them) were attempting to build nests under my office porch.
They’re pretty little birds, aren’t they?
They are part of the Swallow family (same family as the Purple Martins) and they do a good job of eating bugs.
So, why aren’t we helping them out, like we’ve helped the Purple Martins?
The problem is, Chimney Sweeps build mud nests DIRECTLY onto the side of the house. Not only that, but they are messy little critters.
I felt bad shooing them away, because they are so darn cute and beneficial, but I knew I did not want them living ON my house.
We noticed one spot, in particular, where they were returning to time after time. In fact, we could be standing there, directly under the porch where they were trying to nest, and those birds would literally dive-bomb us!
We had to figure out a way to thwart their efforts.
We tried attaching foil to the little ledge, but the foil blew off.
We tried knocking off the mud and grass the birds brought in, but they just returned to rebuild.
We were becoming nearly as obsessive about these little birds as our Purple Martins, but not in a warm, fuzzy way.
Finally, ThrillCam did this:
Pretty smart, huh?
The CDs move in the wind and reflect light and scare the little squatters away! (And, so far, no one has noticed the CDs up there since they are sort of hidden from view.)
I thought it was brilliant!