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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When Birds Build Nests In Inappropriate Places

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know crap about birds. And when it comes right down to it, I don't really care for them. I mean I truly appreciate the work they do and their place in a good eco-system, I just don't like the damage the can do to the food in the garden, or when they fly anywhere by my head. I know they mean me no harm and I blame that old movie The Birds along with my irrational fear of other random things like clowns and people touching my ears.

DSCF4137 A few weeks ago I noticed a few strands of something hanging off the corner of my pergola which I can see from my kitchen window. At first I thought the wind had just blown something up there that had gotten stuck. But later we were leaving to head off to a Bulls playoff game and I glanced up there when I walked out the back door to find the beginnings of a bird nest. Right up in the corner of my nice new pergola! My husband and I do not do well with any sort of animal removal so we were both instantly overcome with dread about this bird's nest and what it might lead to. I was planning to try to get rid of the nest before it was finished being built so that no eggs would end up there but by the time we returned home from the game that afternoon, the nest was fully built! (I wish I could get that kind of productivity out of the contractors who build stuff in my house!)

DSCF4148 The same day that I discovered the bird's nest on my pergola, I also discovered one in the side of my neighbors garage where the siding had become detached in some areas after a fire from the garage immediately behind it melted off some of the siding. I mean I have no idea what it's like being a bird, but building a nest in the side of sharp metal objects does not seem cozy! Or safe!

What's with the birds building nests in these untraditional places? In my neighborhood, there is some rule that requires trees be planted all along the parkway on both sides. There are so many trees that it is virtually impossible to have any sun-loving plants growing in your front yard because of all the shade from the trees (lucky for me, my tree fell on my house last year so my front garden is now in full sun). So, it's not like there's a shortage of trees! I'm just wondering if there is some cool interesting reason for this bird behavior (please God I hope I can somehow blame climate change) or if birds always build nests in weird places and I've just never noticed it because I don't pay attention to them.

What's the strangest place you've discovered a birds nest? If you have a picture of it on your blog, please let us know where we can find it. And if you don't have a blog and you want to email me a picture of your inconvenient birds nest, I'll be glad to post it on my blog so we can all enjoy it.


  1. Every year the birds scope out the tops of the columns that hold up our porch roof, bring a few twigs, then give up when they realize they only have about 2 square inches to work with. We've had nests in the angles of gutters (robins) and in hanging plants on the porch (finches). The porch family was especially cute because we could peer inside at the babies, but annoying because the parents flew at our heads when we dared to use our front door. Still - I love my birdies!

  2. They seem to stick to the trees around here, but then, we don't have a pergola.

    Wasps ate a hole into perfectly sound wood on the side of our garage to build a nest last summer. After we discovered the nest I tried some organic wasp spray, which did nothing to solve the problem. Until we got rid of them, I'd go over there near the nest, and I could hear them crunching on the wood. Loud.

    We had a toad in our kitchen last summer. I think he came in with the wood chips we use for the grill. We got home from dinner one evening and he was sitting in front of the dishwasher, like he knew it was dark and wet in there.

  3. Where's the love for the birds? I was going to respond here, but it turned into a post of its own, complete with pictures of my, quite welcome, nesting visitors.