A bird in the hand…

…or in the ceiling light fixture, or cabinet top or any other place it damn well pleases (please excuse the language).

That’s our wildlife adventure for the day – actually, I’ve been dealing with this freakin’ bird  for over a week.  A bird, possibly a pair of Carolina Wrens, have decided that our home is now the perfect spot for their new abode.

First, I kept telling my husband that there was a bird in the house.  He said in a very patient and slightly condescending manner, “No dear, there is no bird in the house.”  Next thing ya’ know – “Holy shit, there’s a bird in the house!”  We found the nest in the light fixture attached to the ceiling fan in the dining room.  We took the light down and threw the nest into the compost pile.  Situation handled.

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Then…we found a nest in the light fixture of the living room fan.  Took it down, cleaned it out and put it back up.  Next day, another nest.  Cleaned it out.  Left the ceiling fan running.  The bird dodged the fan blades and started another nest.  Took the light fixture down.

This morning, I hear the bird again.  My daughter sees it flying away from atop a cabinet in the kitchen.  I clean up the nest and go to throw it into the compost pile and realize that the bird is reusing the same nesting material over and over again.

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I go run some errands, come home and the nest is back above the cabinet.  I give up.

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I kept thinking that the bird would be frightened away by the constant human interference and presence, but I am sooooo wrong.  Who’s the bird brain here.  That bird is working harder to stay in this house than I am.  I could learn a thing or two about perseverance from this bird.  “Home” is worth fighting for.

I’ve tried to identify the bird,  but I can’t get a picture of it (or them) because it is really fast.  I went online and searched for small brown birds with a yellowish breast, but that leads you to more specific requests for information – like what color are it’s eyebrows.  Seriously?  I’m a relatively intelligent, educated person and I never knew birds even have eyebrows!

You might be asking yourself how the bird is getting in the house in the first place.  Good question.  Our back door is of the sliding variety.  The first week we moved in someone walked through the screen and we just never replaced it.  In pretty weather, we just leave it open and that’s never been a problem.

In addition, we have a 19 year old blind, deaf, incontinent basset hound with advanced dementia.  She will often still go outside to “do her business” as long as there is easy access.  That means everything needs to be the way it’s always been – door left open.  For the most part, we have beautiful temperate weather here, so it’s all worked out.

Now, it appears we’re going to get a doggy door that we really can’t afford.  We’ll never be able to teach Daisy how to use the doggy door.  I had to decide between cleaning up after the incontinent dog that can’t find her way outside or the flock of freakin’ birds living in the kitchen.  The dog can “woof” continuously for up to 20 or 30 minutes, but the baby birds…that would be annoying beyond words!

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Daisy Mae, the Basset Hound

I really love birds. I do.  They are beautiful, interesting, and intriguing.  I like to look at them and hear them sing.  I often use their images in my art. But, like many other things, the idea is more appealing than the reality.

In short, I don’t want to live with them.  I appreciate them much more when they are outside, in the wild where they belong.

UPDATE: I have officially identified the bird as a house wren – appropriately enough since she’s decided to live in my house. I put an aluminum cake pan on top of the cabinet to discourage the bird.  She shoved it out of the way and started rebuilding the nest behind the pan.  I took the nest down and she immediately started rebuilding.  This is one determined bird.

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I’ve decided to call her Cornelia:  it means strong-willed.  My husband has been walking around laughing (at me) all morning. He thinks I’m obsessed and probably a little bit crazier than normal.   He claims the bird is smarter than the dogs and will figure out the dog-door before they do.  Sigh.

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