Bird trouble

Pam Droog Jones


Out here in the boons I may not have neighbors but I have birds—and bird trouble. It’s not quite like “The Birds,” more like “A Few Crazed Birds,” but weird enough.

It started in the early spring when my friend Hans was driving over here. Suddenly a turkey vulture swooped down from the sky, put its claws around the rear-view mirror on his truck’s passenger side, yanked it completely off and flew away. Soon after that, a hummingbird flew straight into the head of another visitor who, as he was walking to his motorcycle from my front door, thankfully had already put on his helmet.

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Then it was mating season. One day, starting at 5:30 a.m., a crazed female cardinal repeatedly flung herself at our bedroom window. This continued all morning, every morning, for several weeks. She’d sit in the crepe myrtle in front of the window, make a clicking sound, then crash into the glass while her handsome scarlet husband sang the familiar cardinal song nearby. I wondered, if Mrs. Cardinal successfully blasted through, would she appreciate the not-yet-put-away laundry, the unmatched furniture, my husband Jerry’s teetering mountain of hobby magazines and the layer of dust on everything from living on a gravel road? I’m certain she would have stopped immediately if she truly knew what was on the other side.

We did some research and determined the deranged bird thought her reflection was a mate-stealing hussy. So Jerry taped black plastic trash bags over the window (hidden by the crepe myrtle, thank goodness). Early the next morning, I waited for the routine to start…but it didn’t. The garbage bag strategy worked…that is, until the following day, when I heard her clicky noises, his cardinal theme song, then CRASH–against the smaller window next to the garbage-bagged one. I couldn’t bear the thought of covering the bedroom’s

only source of sunshine so we toughed it out, and at last nesting season ended.

Then a pair of noisy hawks showed up and decided to raise a family…