Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Living with a Pandemic Bird

We live in a beautiful home in the mountains. From every window opening we can see in the near distance the snowcap peaks. Tall imposing evergreens and aspens dot our property. From time to time moose have bunked in our backyard, deer have visited regularly and a friendly fox often has whizzed by our back patio. Every winter my husband puts up bird feeders that attract small wrens, bluebirds, and all types of indigenous birds.

So being quarantined in such a lovely place is not all bad. We make do ordering from Instacart and take regular walks in our neighborhood that is located at the bottom of a national park trail. We are grateful that our family is doing as well as can be expected and that we are regularly able to stay in touch by phone and on Facetime.

It was a surprise to us when an uninvited visitor, an angry bird, began pecking at our tall two- story high hall window from day to night. He was a large red-breasted brown speckled bird and he was relentless. It seemed he didn’t want us to feel that we weren’t being affected by the virus. He wanted us to experience a bit of suffering. Maybe he thought we needed something to do during the countless hours of the day.

From early morning to late dusk, Mr. Angry Bird knocked at the window, only to be deterred momentarily to branches of our front evergreen tree for short periods of time.
It took a while to figure out what we might do to discourage him. (We had no idea if it was a him or a her.) The window is a combination of stained glass and clear glass and on the ledge we have a wildflower arrangement that is surrounded by a glass covering. We decided to hide the glass flower arrangement. That worked for about a half hour.

We turned to the internet for advice. It recommended hanging something with movement and that shines in the window. We up put an old dream catcher and affixed it to the window. Nada.

Then we called the wildlife division of the Parks and Recreation Department. He said birds don’t like raptors and we should try putting an image of one in the window. Two efforts failed. The pounding went on.

Then we called the wildlife company that had gotten rid of the squirrels that were running around in the rafters above our upstairs rooms. She explained the situation was that it was mating season and birds seeing their reflection think what they’re seeing is a prospect. “Block the windows with some covering.” We search around for old posters, newspapers, magazine covers and old calendar cover sheets. Success.

The next day we go downstairs to our family room to do a television yoga session and guess who’s waiting for us at a window in the room? Our visitor, the angry bird. We interrupt the yoga session to put up more paper. We get through the session. Still the bird finds an opening at the bottom. We put up the board and the front cover from our Risk game on the ledge. We can see him sitting on the ground figuring out how to widen his entry. 

This has now been going on for almost two weeks and we’re still not sure that it’s over and that our menacing visitor won’t return again.

If anything, our angry bird has put it all into perspective. An annoyance like him is a pain, but it’s not the end of the world. He’ll go away someday and hopefully so will Corona-19.