Oops – rushed Mother Nature

We have big pillars holding up the front porch of our house, painted a lovely cream color. Each spring, we’ve battled the birds who recognize them for what they are (in the avian world) – nesting shelves.

The first year was the worst. The swallows came in several house-hunting couples and smeared mud splashes all over the columns  as they threw together their compact little cups of mud and grass. Every day we went out to wash down the mess and clear out the nests that went together amazingly quickly. I finally cut little triangles of heavy cardboard to make the corners of the columns harder to settle into. These worked to some degree but tend to blow away in a storm.

babysparrowThe swallows got the message after the first year, but then the house finches discovered the vacant territory. Their nests are much neater although they are not very attractive to see from the house. I have come to a truce at this point with the young families. I can put up with a month of mess on the porch while they raise their babies and then clean it out when they are done. I’ll admit it is interesting to monitor the progress and hear the little ones cheeping for their breakfast.

Today, I started out the afternoon with a long list of outside chores and at the top of the list was to clean out the old nests. I got up on a ladder and tapped a nest to see if there was anyone left in there. No sound. So I began to lift the nest out and suddenly little birdies began to rain down on my head. Oops. I found three of them and gently laid them back in the nest, but one hopped right back up and flew down into the bushes. I guess that means they were just about ready to go anyway so I don’t feel so bad.

The robin in the nest in the honeysuckle by the back door is very clear about warning me away every time I come out, so you can be sure I won’t make the same mistake with her. This will only last another week or so, and I can wait.






About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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6 Responses to Oops – rushed Mother Nature

  1. We had mud swallows trying to nest in the v of our garage. Because they are messy we started spraying the nest. Pretty smart birds. They recognized that they were unwanted on our house and we haven’t had any problems with them since. Now other birds… that’s another story. 🙂

  2. bluestempond says:

    Yeah, I think I’ve gone for the surrender method.

  3. diannegray says:

    We ended up buying ‘pre-made’ nests for our finches to stop the mess of the initial build and it worked. I’m not sure if you can get them where you are because a local fellow here makes them. I love birds, but they do tend to get very messy! Great photo 😉

    • bluestempond says:

      Well, that’s a novel idea! I wonder what is needed to make a nest the birds feel comfortable calling home? I did not have the presence of mind to photograph my baby birds, so this one is a stock photo off Google Images.

  4. Tammi Kale says:

    I came across your blog from comments on another blog I follow….The simple life and hard work of living on a working farm have always amazed me……your posts are wonderful imaging for me…..

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