By Tara Kaprowy
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
I debated whether or not to include a photo with this week’s column as sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. But then I thought some of you might be reading this over breakfast or lunch or even over coffee and that photo would destroy whatever appetite you might have.
So I’ll have to just rely on words and hope that they’ll do. As I told you a few weeks ago, we’re having a problem with a certain bluebird that has made a home in our birch trees. Said bluebird is addicted to pooping on our cars whenever possible. And for the past six weeks now, whenever we step outside in the morning, we are greeted with waterfalls of the stuff descending from the driver’s and front passenger windows of our vehicles.
After lengthy Internet research, we’ve concluded the bird believes that when he looks in our side-view mirrors he is seeing another male and, thus, a competitor for female attention. Obviously not elegant in handling stress, he cramps and poops down the windowsill and pecks at the mirror to get rid of the bird. This, as you can imagine, doesn’t work.
We tried hanging an owl in the trees to scare the situation away, but that was a miserable failure and now we have an angry, plastic owl we don’t know what to do with. I looked for rubber snakes at Walmart, The Dollar Tree and Lowe’s and came up empty handed. And I’ve tied plastic bags around the mirrors to block his view, which seemed to work except that I don’t have the discipline to tie them on and pull them off each time I go anywhere. Heck, even if I had that kind of discipline, I’d use that energy on better things — like using toner and night cream on my face before bed and lifting weights upon waking every morning.
So, with little left to do, we sit in the porch each evening and watch our bluebird devastate our cars. We’ve realized if there weren’t poop involved, we’d both be somewhat enchanted by the bird, who at least gets points for persistence — which, we discovered two weeks ago, doesn’t stop with just the cars.
I was sitting in the kitchen writing when I heard a tapping at the window and there that sucker was, poking and prodding at the glass with his beak. It was briefly Hitchcockian — the thought crossed my mind that he was actually after me — until I realized he was trying to get at a flower-shaped stained-glass ornament that hangs in the window via suction cup. Unable to get at his target, he promptly pooped down the window and flew off.
Watching the stain slowly slide down the glass, it forced me to wonder if he is smarter than the average bird, since the only contact most birds make with windows is when they mistakenly smack into them, or if our bird is much, much dumber, with the other birds having a good laugh when he tries to fight off a mirror image of himself.
No matter his IQ, last Saturday my husband had had enough and as I puttered away in the garden I heard him grumble something in the garage. Curious what he had to say, I turned the corner and was met head-on with the barrel of an air rifle. My husband was crouched behind a car, morning hair molded into a claw, with his sights on our bird.
He stood up in disgust, as if I’d just blown his cover.
“I told you to let me know if you were coming into the garage,” he said. “Now I’ve lost him.”
“I didn’t hear you,” I said, trying hard not to laugh. “How do you plan to shoot him without shooting the car?”
Eventually, I think William realized it’s next to impossible to shoot a songbird. He put the rifle away and went to have a cup of coffee.
But wouldn’t you know it, as he was reading the news online in the study downstairs, our bluebird started tapping against the basement window. This time, there was no stained glass, no mirror nearby, just William and his coffee. Was he coming to say hello or gloat?
Regardless of his meaning, needless to say there was a fresh, warm waterfall streaming from William’s windowsill when I went outside to resume my gardening. It was this eggy, lumpy image I debated attaching to my column. But I think, in the end, you get my drift: This problem is not going away anytime soon.