Please don’t add to our birdhouse collection

We really do did collect birdhouses. We have all kinds of birdhouses, from the serviceable but unadorned birdhouses the GG puts together down in the Landfill Dungeon all the way up to the artsy-fartsy ones we’ve picked up all over the place. Museum catalogs, art galleries, you name it. There are quite a few birdhouses hung on the outside of The Landfill. I’m not sure that all of them get used, at least not every year, but we host quite a few young bird families here on our little piece of property on the west side of the Planet Ann Arbor. They seem to be indiscriminate about which houses they choose to raise their families in. I’m not sure what criteria they use but Landfill Dungeon birdhouses seem to be just as popular as MOMA birdhouses.

The GG is an enthusiastic birder albeit not obsessive enough that he has a life list or anything like that. He’s interested in birds and actively observes them but he’s interested in about a gazillion other things too. When our first baby Lizard Breath was a toddler, “cardinal” and “blue jay” were among her early words. She and the GG would check on a nest of blue jay eggs every afternoon while I was at work. One day the eggs hatched! It was a wondrous event! Alas, it was a matter of days before a grackle ate the blue jay babies. Welcome to life, little girl!

For a few years, a robin family chose to build a nest atop a spotlight we have on the back of the Landfill. The GG set up a telescope in a strategic location inside the Landfill so that he and the Beach Urchins and all of their friends could keep tabs on the robin family’s progress. One memorable night, I woke at that batscope time of the night. The GG Daddy Bird had jumped out of bed and was pulling on a pair of jeans or whatever. What the heck was going on? Well. The baby robins had fledged and a CAT was out there trying to get them. How did he know that? It didn’t wake meeee up! He went outside, shooed the cat away, and went back to bed. And then. He was up pulling jeans on again… This scenario repeated itself several times until, alas, the cat got at least one of the baby birds.

Oh and then there was the loooooverly flicker. The first time I heard it pecking on my metal faaarrrrplace chimney, I could not figger what was going on. The sound reverberated throughout the entire house. What the HECK is that blood-curdling noise? The Beach Urchins were terrified! The GG figgered out that it was a flicker and set up his scope in the Beach Urchins’ bedroom so they could see that it was just a silly old bird. Once they saw that old bird, they weren’t terrified any more. I had to laugh the next time the grandparents came down from the Yooperland to visit. That bird would begin its territorial imperative as soon as the sun came up, which was 6:00 AM or thereabouts at that time of the year. I told the grandparents that a woodpecker wood would wake them up in the morning. The Commander said something like, “Well, *if* it wakes us up…” Um, moom, the woodpecker WILL wake you up!!! Fortunately, we are all early risers.

I have a bunch more bird stories but that’s enough for tonight. We do not need any more birdhouses. We are in a deacquisitional phase of life right now and I am sure that my descendants are not gonna want every single blasted loverly birdhouse that I have ever purchased. *I* can’t even remember where I got them. The GG’s homemade birdhouses may have a bit more value but even those are not made to last 1600 years or whatever.

2 Responses to “Please don’t add to our birdhouse collection”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Gee–I can’t send you 10 bird houses or so?? 😉 Alison loved birds when she was younger and we spent lots of time bird watching. She could identify an amazing number of them! It was very interesting, but then gymnastics took over her life (and dance Ashley’s) so we had little time for birding.

  2. Pooh Says:

    Mark and I saw a flicker drumming on a metal lamp cover in Forest Park. It was very loud, as you said. So sometimes they use those beaks to dig insects out of trees, and sometimes their dream is to be a drummer in a rock and roll band.