My conscience is heavy on this Earth Day. *Sigh.*
Last week I started noticing a pair of birds flying back and forth to the gutter above the window in my office–which has gutter guards on it. When I would go out into the yard I’d try and get a look, and eventually I caught the birds coming and going. Rain was in the forecast, so I decided to leave it, thinking a good rain would make the birds reconsider their choice. But either it didn’t rain hard enough, or the little guys started rebuilding. I put out a Facebook call for suggestions, and my friends told me rain and Darwinism would take care of it. Then my mother dropped by on Earth Day, and as we were standing outside, both birds left the nest so I decided to crawl up on the roof, remove the gutter guards and get a good look.
What I found was about 18 inches of complete junk clogging my gutter, but I didn’t see any eggs. So I decided to remove the junk and the guards — figuring the birds would move on if the gutter was no longer covered. (I had the pine trees that were giving my gutters hell cut down over the winter so the gutter guards were no longer necessary.) I had most of the junk out of the gutter and onto the ground when I finally saw it… an egg. And when my mother investigated the pile on the ground, she found a broken one.
It was sad enough to find a broken egg, but now I had to figure out what to do with the remaining one. There’s no way I could just leave it there, or toss it in the garbage. I thought about calling the Audubon Society, but I figured they would tell me the best thing to do is keep it with the parents. But I also knew that, even if I put all the crap back in my gutter (which wasn’t a good idea) when the babies were born and some monsoon came through, they’d be doomed.
I happened to have an old wooden bird cage in the shed, so my mom stuffed it with the crap from the ground, and then handed it to me on the roof. I put the little egg safely inside, and then we hung the cage from a shepherd’s hook along the side of the downspout.
I’ve been back at my desk for a while now. and I’ve seen the birds buzzing around with little bits and pieces of stuff in their beaks. I don’t want to go out into the yard and disturb them, but I’m hoping they found their egg.
Now…to figure out what to do if the egg hatches and the dog becomes a bird terrorist…