The Nest Quest

Damn birds! I knocked their house off the front porch light with a broom then hosed off their leftover building debris for the second morning in a row.

I looked for eggs first; I’m not heartless. Plus there’s a federal law that forbids disturbing an occupied nest. Not that any of my neighbors would report me, but one never knows.

The question I ask myself is, “when do these birds build their nest?”

After I demolish their handy work they disappear for the day. They’re probably pissed at me and regroup for their next attack, because by 5:00 the next morning there’s another nest that’s bigger and stronger than the last.

Do the expectant mom and pop have engineering degrees or do they bring in reinforcements from the Audubon society? Maybe they’re a flock of organized terrorists who don their night goggles and covertly sneak onto my porch at midnight to vandalize my property. Or perhaps they’re an educational group who after their 4:00 a.m. worm-out, gather at my house to film their Reality TV Show Nest Quest. Their slogan: if she comes, we will rebuild

As I wound the old duct-taped garden hose onto the reel next to the downspout at the corner of the garage I wondered how I could evict this fowl society from my porch. Then it hit me. Duct Tape!

I scurried to the garage, grabbed the tape and headed into the house for my sewing basket. I pushed straight pins through the sticky side of the tape (my version of a bird spike) and stuck it on the bird’s job site, that area between the porch light and the siding.

“I’ve got you now!” I sneered, shaking my fist in the air. “You can’t build a house on pins and needles!” If I’d had a mustache I would have twirled the ends.

The next morning I opened the front door to find a disaster area. Muck and mud, dry grass and twigs had been shoved between each straight pin creating a solid, but messy foundation for their brand new three story penthouse!

The porch floor and walls looked like they had celebrated their housing project with a mud wrestling party, then tried to cover it up with the dry prairie grass I never got around to cutting down in the fall.

So far my attempts to thwart these feathered frustrations had yielded zero results. It was time to think outside the nest.

Two years earlier I had purchased an 18 inch horned owl decoy that I attached to the deck in the back yard as a bird deterrent, but the birds in my neighborhood aren’t stupid. They wear tactical gear and host TV shows. Their favorite pastime was to shit on the owl’s head.

What I needed was an enemy that would stop them in mid-air as they swooped in with their construction material; something small that would signal danger the moment they got close to the porch.

I went to the spare bedroom closet where I stored some of my children’s old toys and found just what I was looking for. Coiled into a striking pose was the green rubber snake we purchased at a souvenir store in Gatlinburg three decades ago.

I arranged the reptile on the porch light with its body wrapped around the finial (the pointy thing on top of the light). Its head, with teeth showing in it’s open mouth, faced toward the yard, it’s green tail dangled down in front of the white siding. The visual screamed “SNAKE! SNAKE! SNAKE!”

It was cloudy when I opened the front door the next morning. For the first time in three days, the porch was devoid of squatters. My heart soared. I turned my face to the sky, stretched my arms out in delight and smiled.

As I celebrated, the clouds parted and a golden ray of sun lit the gutter at the corner of our garage. And there, twenty feet away from the porch, Momma bird glared at me as she sat on her eggs in her very simple nest, under the eave, in the snake free arm of the downspout.


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    Elisa O’NeillMay 30th, 2019

    This story seriously tickled my funny bone!

  2. Karen KellyMay 30th, 2019
  3. As my mom would say, “You can’t win for losing!” Thanks for adding more laughter to my day!

  4. ErniMay 30th, 2019
  5. I have had the same problem every spring with two retarded robins. Every year they try to build a nest on the post holding up the deck above my patio. There is not room for them to build a nest there and sit on it. Every morning I go out with a broom and knock down what is hanging loose. One morning last year I was so angry I took a swing at the nest and knocked down a hanging angel that my daughter and law gave me and broke it to pieces. Didn’t bother the robins in the least buy it bothered me a lot. ed

  6. Dee ReynoldsMay 30th, 2019
  7. So FUNNY! Thank you for writing…AND sharing!

  8. Jeanne SolingMay 30th, 2019
  9. That was a great story. I think we are all fighting the same battle with the birds whether you live in the east, north, south or west. Kids will be kids and birds will be birds. Sometimes the adults win and sometimes the birds win – it’s just the way of life. Thanks for the giggle today. Please keep writing these funny stories. I love them!

  10. Debra KrickMay 30th, 2019
  11. I had squatters on my front porch light earlier this spring. Like you, I tried to remove the evidence, but each morning following my efforts, there was once again a full nest ready for a family. My solution? Definitely more expensive than yours, but it worked. One of the light by my garage door was broken, so I replaced all of my front lights for ones that are easier to clean and change the light bulbs. Thanks for your writings! I am anxious to read more of your writing!

  12. Gayellen KickMay 30th, 2019
  13. I appreciate all the comments. I personally respond to each one by email.

  14. ChristineMay 30th, 2019
  15. No wonder she was so busy…. those eggs were a coming! She was up all night “nesting” preparing the house. Lol. Fun story

  16. ChristineMay 30th, 2019
  17. Hilarious! Now I understand the term nesting… Those eggs were on the way! Mama bird was up all night trying to prepare the house.

  18. Corey StohlquistMay 31st, 2019
  19. Gaye,
    You write the best stories, you should publish a book someday with all of your short stories included in one issue.

    Keep up the great writing, eagerly awaiting the next story.

  20. Jyll HoyrupMay 31st, 2019
  21. That is too funny Gaye!! I have been dealing with something similar on my own porch!!

  22. DeborahMay 31st, 2019
  23. I did the snake thing at the last place I lived, it worked like a charm.

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