Homewrecker

Every Spring it’s the same story.

Like a finely crafted watch, it ticks on with predictable regularity, one second passing after the other, advancing minute by minute, with hands – digits, these days – moving always in the same direction.

First there’s the incessant beating of the beaks on glazing. Robins relentlessly attacking windows reflecting bird images recognizable to all but the aggressive actor.

Not a short while later, construction begins. Laboriously, but remarkably quickly, straw, twigs, leaves and long grasses are woven with a mixture of mortar (mud) to form tight, circular nests intended to house Tiffany-blue eggs.

Industrious, but none to bright, on at least one dimension, the robins initiate homesteading in places difficult for predators to reach. On the underside of elevated decks, for instance. The deck trusses afford purchase for delicately, precisely balanced nests “glued” to the wooden members by uncountable trips from moist locations.

It’s not as though there’s a shortage of trees in my yard in which to nest-build. Not more than a million, I’d guess. Plenty of branches with loads of forks that would easily accommodate new construction. A veritable Levittown-like development, all nestled comfortably in the hamlet of Bushnell’s Basin, NY.

Knocking down nests-under-deck is pretty easy for we wingless two-leggers. It can be done with a broom. And, caught early enough, one salves one’s conscience with the notion that little harm was done and only displacement was the injury. No eggs were scrambled, in other words.

But give the robins their due – some are pretty darn entrepreneurial.

Just below the peak of the roofline, on the gable end of my house is a vent – a common location for such things – and below that, the horn for an alarm system. The vent is, of course, built into the siding and allows for exhausting attic air. The horn, on the other hand, is attached to the siding and sticks out from the house. And that intersection, between wood siding and metal bracket, seems to some robins a great location for nesting.

Higher tax rates, doubtless. But worth it. If only for the school system. And security – no foxes can reach it. Or, for that matter, humans waving broom sticks at it as that produces only wind. The nest is secure.

Removing this nest requires a 20-foot extension ladder. Twenty feet long, extended another 10 or 12 feet. Getting the ladder requires moving much garage junk that can never, ever be thrown out.

Climbing up the extended ladder is like walking on a rubber-band. Plenty of bounce in that baby.

Maybe what I need is one of those Harry Potter brooms.

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