A.A. Bondy
American Hearts

Leaves in the Gutter

For What I Don't Become

The Thick of It
BBC America

Saddest Ghost Lamp

Friday, July 01, 2005

Pigeon Update

I am a horrible person.

I stole some pigeons. Then I returned them. Then they grew up in the transom above our rear porch door, depositing along with their mother over the past month an astonishing, literally breathtaking amount of bird shit. Everywhere. All over our porch, dripping down our screen door. A ridge of the stuff was encrusted along the top of the screen door, and it threatened to topple over on our heads every time we went out to the porch, which we basically stopped doing because of the smell. The nest itself, visible to me through the transom window when standing on a ladder that I kept nearby so I could check in on them periodically from inside the house, was basically a big bed of their own dried poop. And there were legions of bugs and mites crawling around everywhere. I stopped checking in on them when I found a tiny little bug on my arm while doing so. The bugs had somehow gotten through the window or the doorframe and were now inside the house. This was not sustainable.

Thankfully, the birds were flying. They'd be gone from the nest for hours at a time, so I felt comfortable yesterday catapulting them into full adulthood a little early. I went to Home Depot and bought some screen, insecticide, and one of those white face masks that filter out dust and, if needed, bird shit. I waited till the pigeons were gone, put on clothes that I was prepared to throw out, the mask, and some garden gloves, pulled the ladder outside to the porch and trashed the nest. I scooped out all manner of filth from the transom, insecticided the hell out of it, and stapled up the screen to prevent the filthy little things from ever getting back in. Then I cleaned up all the bird shit everywhere else on the porch, trashed the clothes, and had a beer.

The pigeons were passively watching me destroy their home from a perch in the rafters above our porch the whole time. I figured, They're flying, they'll fly off somewhere and start their filthy little pigeon lives. But they didn't. They made a couple of attempts to get through the screen, and failed. After a while, they started these screechy little chirps--the first noise I ever heard them make--that got louder and more urgent. Mama bird came over and cooed. The shrieks got worse. They were loud and awful to listen to. For while, they kind of freaked out and appeared to be fighting and pecking at one another, and even mama bird got into it. Then they stopped and just stared at me.

They've been there ever since, shreiking on and off. Mama seems to be around, but I don't know if she's feeding them. It looks like they can fly little short hops, but clearly aren't mobile or self-sufficient. And I destroyed their only home. And they're still shitting on the porch.

Horrible person.