Over the past few months, I have been congratulating myself about my highly effective bird-proofing of the nursery at the farm. Back in February I launched a major assault. They won the first round of battle, but I declared decisive victory in the second.
All through the winter I’ve been perfecting my defences, even going so far as to install swivel-mounted raptor cutouts to convince any birds who might be looking for lodging that the neighborhood was decidedly unsafe.
Everything was going well and as spring came and it came time for birds to start building nests, I kept a watchful eye for any unauthorized settlement activity. It was quiet. Too quiet.
Then last week happened.
It was like they had been waiting for the right moment. We hadn’t been up to the farm for about a week and on arriving were greeted with evidence that the birds were busy. That thing that looks like a turd on top of the light is the makings of a nest.
Right in front of an owl-like wind chime and a fearsome black predator! Clearly, the birds had gotten toughened up over the winter. Fortunately, the nest was in the early stages and once human traffic started up, they abandoned the site and went elsewhere.
But it wasn’t until I went inside the nursery that I started to get really worried about whether I’d been underestimating the power (and malevolence) of the bird mentality.
I had previously found the spots through which they were gaining access to the nesting sites (basically, every crack and crevice), and using a variety of methods, I had blocked them off. Some I covered with pieces of wood, some I put wire mesh over and some I used spray foam insulation (one of the most diabolical inventions in history). Those main defense works were guarded by a network of raptor cut outs and old CDs.
As best I can piece together what must have happened is that the birds decided to test the defences and when they held, they decided to show their displeasure.
The first clue that something was amiss was a lot of flaky stuff on the floor. Closer inspection revealed it to be pieces of insulation that they had tried to peck out. Fortunately it held, but I was fairly alarming to think that they would actually show such aggressive behaviour.
My theory is that having failed to penetrate the insulation and other barriers, they tried carpet bombing, whether because they thought it would help them get access or, more likely, they wanted to express their extreme displeasure.
I’m limiting the number of pictures, because you get the idea. But they did that everywhere. How am I not supposed to assume they weren’t just being vindictive?
They even pooped on the raptor!
Needless to say, I have new respect for the foe.