Claremore Daily Progress

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June 14, 2011

COLUMN: Bird Challenge

CLAREMORE — The battle of wills may be over.  A war of fortitude may have ended.  Only time will reveal the true winner.

Last week as I was mowing the yard I noticed a foreign object hanging from the newspaper tube beside our mailbox.  At first it looked like strips of peeling paint.  Closer observation revealed it was pieces of straw.

A bird was building a nest.

Okay, I certainly enjoy nature as well as anyone.  Nothing can compare to listening to the birds sing following a rain.  Watching them fly in groups or individually is a special treat.

Still, I didn’t want a bird nest between my sports page and the comics.  I pulled the partially built nest out of the tube.  A crime against nature?  Maybe, but there is a nice shady tree less than five feet away.  Trees are designed for bird nests, not paper tubes.  Why can’t she move upstairs where the view will be much better?

In my defense, let me add a postscript.  Many years ago a bird elected to lay her eggs (three or them) in the middle of our gravel driveway.  For more than a month we made sure the mother and her first eggs, then babies, were not disturbed.  Dodging them in the mornings when I was still half asleep was no easy chore.

Mowing the yard then was a true challenge.  The mother would first attempt to lead us away from the nest by pretending to be hurt.  When that didn’t work, she would dive bomb our heads.

This latest homesteader hasn’t been seen.  Still, somehow, she proved to be most stubborn.  If we removed the straw, it would magically reappear by the time we next looked.

I don’t mean the 24-hour periods it takes for the newspaper to arrive.  On Saturday for an example, I needed to go get a loaf of bread.  When I left the current building project’s straw was removed.  When I came back less than 30 minutes later, my feathered developer had been busy.  It was all back, plus some.

Like mentioned before, the mother-to-be bird has stayed hidden.  The garage door probably warns her when we are leaving, but how does she time our return?  Peeking out the front windows doesn’t help.

Currently the paper tube has been covered with a plastic sack.  Cherl did this Sunday morning.  Of course the covering must be removed in time for Tuesday’s delivery.

Will Round Two start up then, or will the bird have moved on to different quarters?

To tell the truth, I can’t help pulling for that silly bird.  Her determination has been remarkable so far.  We will probably quit before she does.     

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