Posts tagged birds
Posts tagged birds
On June 6, 2012 we welcomed little Hal the Pigeon of the Grill of Culver City into the world. At the time we thought it was interesting, unique and neat-o to have our very own pigeon growing up before our eyes right off of our dining area. Every newlywed couple dreams they’ll get a bundle of joy to call their own which doesn’t cost a dime and brings daily happiness. Right?
As Hal matured we learned to love him for all of his adorable qualities and his odd personality, but we also learned to despise him for his annoying habits. Pigeons have long toenails which, when paired with a metal grill, make a terrible clack-clacking noise. An active little guy, Hal made lots of noise from sunrise until well past sunset hopping around his “room”. Some days the sound was akin to nails on a chalkboard, but on the flip-side it was always nice to know he was there, our little buddy on the porch.
The real deal breaker was the poop. Oh the poop! No matter how much I swept off the porch and grill there was more the next day. What he was eating to create all of this poop is a mystery, but it was certainly fiber-filled.
Pigeon experts indicate it takes about one month for a pigeon baby to mature enough to fly. Since Hal hatched early (in 15 days instead of the usual 18 to 21) we hoped he would be an advanced flier, but no. Hal hopped around the porch but refused to actually fly. Until … one day, when I had enough of the poop I came out and started sweeping like a woman possessed. Hal hopped to the edge of the porch to avoid my broom. This was serious. He had to fly, so he did!
After five weeks of freeloading on our porch, pooping up a storm and driving us nuts with his toenails Hal was off and flying! He went to the windowsill, then bravely (and patriotically) moved on to the neighbor’s porch. Not sure of his next move he attempted to fly back to our porch, nearly landed on my head but changed course and moved up to our 3rd floor neighbor’s porch. Hal was a flying machine! It’s almost like he was born to fly.
On Saturday morning Jeremy said, “Can we agree that we’re done with being pigeon parents?” I concurred it was time to take back our porch in the name of humans and let Hal move on to life in the pigeon world.
Since Hal had left already that morning, immediately dear my husband (who lives by the saying Cleanliness is Next to Godliness) got to work washing down the porch and grill. I expected that to be my assignment since I had allowed this whole situation to occur in the first place, but he stepped up and for that I am incredibly grateful. Water and a scrub brush would certainly not get the job done so out came the Kaboom cleaning product. Normally this extremely powerful (and surely terrible for us and the environment) product does not turn blue upon contact with surfaces it cleans, but it had never met pigeon poop before. Oh was that foamy stuff blue and oh did we love its magical powers!
It wasn’t an easy job, but Jeremy made quick work of the porch and grill which were back to tip-top, pre-Hal levels of cleanliness within an hour. It was like the little guy (and his dearly departed twin sister) hadn’t spent seven weeks as a resident of Apartment #203. We are planning to write a letter of thanks to Kaboom for their services - seriously, this stuff is unreal!
But the real question was, how do we keep Harold and Maude or Hal and his girlfriend from coming back to continue the family line in the cozy, hospitable spot below our grill? Neighbors have purchased costly bird spikes from Home Depot and while I was ready to do that Jeremy got crafty and made his own deterrent system thanks to his own ingenuity combined with a Banana Republic shipping box and some nails. He even rigged up a wire (on the left) to trip Hal up if he tries to come in and nest. Sorry pigeons, you won’t be setting up another best nest on our porch.
Epilogue: Hal has been back to our porch once. He came to hang out on the railing, settling himself down on each of the corners for a bit. He either instinctively knew his home wasn’t the same anymore or he checked out the grill with his skinny pigeon head and saw we had already gotten over our empty nest stage and remodeled his room. Either way we’re all happy now.
For those of you following the life and times of Hal the Pigeon here is the latest snapshot of our little guy who is almost a full grown bird now. He’s still got some yellowish fuzz on the top of his head, making it clear he isn’t really as old as he appears, but he’s all grown up for the most part.
We’re not sure how to kick Hal out of the nest, but we’re done with him. he needs to move on. He’s lived with us for a month now, which is the typical period of time a pigeon needs before it can fly away and live on its own.
Papa Harold has been coming around regularly. The guys whibble and warble about learning to fly, getting off this grill and moving on, but Hal doesn’t seem to be ready juuuuust yet. He occasionally hides out under the grill, but as far as we know has never flown.
Until Hal is ready to take off on his own I guess we’ll have to put up with him, his poop and the incessant skittering around (while we’re trying to watch intense scenes from season four of Breaking Bad). Some part of me does love him like only a mother can, but we both know he’s really a freeloading, squatter pigeon. It is time for Hal to spread his winds and fly!