Friday, May 21, 2010

Flipping the bird

Just after a friend asked on Facebook what to do about birds nesting on her balcony, we found that a pigeon had not only nested under one of our bike covers, but already hatched out what was, by the time we found it, a large baby.

This was instant karma for my one-word reply to my friend: squab.

As you may know, when we thought the mom had abandoned the baby, Mama called the city animal shelter. They told Mama to bring the baby in, that they could care for it. When she got there, they said that they'd take it, but only to kill it.

Turns out we have a different definition of "care for."

They did give us a shoebox, however, which Mama returned to the house with, full of twigs and baby bird. We figured the baby would maybe last the weekend, but we couldn't have been more wrong, and yesterday it appears to have taken its first flight off of our balcony, never to return...we hope. While it was fun to watch it grow up, those birds brought mostly grief, starting with shredding all of our bike covers.

The kids were interested in the baby, however--Jewel more than 3B. She loved watching it pace along our railing, looking down then back at us as if to say, "Are you sure about this flying thing?" As if we could help.

For awhile it looked as if Jewel might walk before the baby ever flew, but the most heated competition was who could poop the most. Jewel was definitely slowed down by her adoption of solid food over the last two weeks, while the baby bird seems to have accelerated its poopage rate as it grew larger.

So, while the birds have flipped out, they left behind a balcony that now resembles nothing if not the Augean Stables.

Because we live on the 7th floor and actually like the six people who live below us, we can't just wash the crap over the edge. Well, because of that and the fact that we lack a garden and therefore lack a garden hose. So this weekend we'll be going through the final state of grief over this.

So far we've been through

Denial: Not just a river in Egypt, but we might need a river of that size to clean this shit up.
Anger: Why us? It's not fair! We're vegetarians, so we can't even enjoy squab, no matter how good it smells while we cook it.
Bargaining: If you get off my balcony, you stinky birds, I won't take you back the the city shelter.
Depression: If I fire a shotgun at you two, it will leave a depression in my balcony.
Acceptance: It's going to be OK. I can't fight it, I might as well just clean up after it. And since we like all the people who live below us, we'll just have to pick up all the crap by hand...and box it up for our next door neighbor, who complains about noises that we don't make.
And what are you doing this weekend? Have you considered curing cancer?

The other five loyal readers of this blog have already contributed--and one will be getting a custom bike jersey for it--but I still need to raise $2,100. I also need more people to carry with me on my ride.

It takes just a minute, and it could last a lifetime.

I'm working to make cancer history. Will you help me?

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  1. Chicken manure is great fertilizer. So, by logical extension, your pigeon might result in a bumper balcony tomato crop.

  2. That would work if only I had a balcony tomato crop.