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.