Wednesday, April 16, 2014


We live on the very edge of a small wood owned by the city. In the middle of it is a water reservoir, so thankfully it remains undeveloped. It's only a few acres in size, but it provides a lot of habitat for birds. I'm happy to have them - robins, in particular, hang around almost the entire year.

BUT. Every spring, my house becomes the epicentre of frenzied mating and nesting activity. The birds go ape, basically, flying around the place in a wild-eyed riot of screeching and flapping.

Most of them, I don't mind. I can put up with that slightly sinister pair of crows who cleverly rearrange the dried grass and bits of scrap wool I leave outside for them, before carrying it off to line their nest. I like the two hummingbirds who square off for honeysuckle rights every year: they're a lot of fun to watch. Two years ago we had a little chickadee family living in a planter directly outside the back door, where we could look right down into their living room and watch their babies grow.

The ones I really, really don't like are the Northern Flickers. These pesky things have become more and more of a nuisance over the past few years. They hang around in the trees, beginning in late February or early March, doing their irritatingly monotonous call that makes the entire neighbourhood sound like the Amazon rainforest. To make matters worse, they love nothing better than sitting up on my chimney, getting a bill-full of metal flashing in the hopes of attracting girls. It's to the point where I spend all my early mornings (my best sleeping-time), eyes half-closed, stumbling around in the backyard looking for pine cones to chuck at them. Here's what they are doing:


You can't get the full effect from this video. But take it from me: if you're lying in bed at 7 AM and these idiots start up, you will think there are crazed gangsters with tommy-guns having a shootout on your roof.

Stupid nature.


Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha!! We have them around here as well, although thankfully we don't have a chimney so they choose other houses. More irritating around here these days are the doves. Their coo-ing is not lovey-dovey all day from dawn to sunrise. Not at all. And I swear there weren't doves here in town five years ago.

Carolyn said...

Lying in bed at 7 AM? Oh, luxury! The newspapers here need to be delivered by 6 AM, so I bid farewell to my bed by 5:30 or sooner.

I will agree that birds going tappa tappa tappa on flashing or other roofy metal bits is annoying, though.

Spring -- it'll happen soon! 90 miles north of us has 14" of new snow and counting.

Dave Hingsburger said...

We'd have to choose between that and the hooker that throws up in the alley behind our building every night of the weekend between 4 and 4:30.

lizbon grav said...

Oh my lord those birds. Nevermind the pinecones, I'd get out the .22.

lizbon grav said...

Oh my lord those birds. Nevermind the pinecones, I'd get out the .22.