Friday, June 5, 2009

Let Me Tell You 'Bout the Birds and the...

...Mosquitoes. Honestly, the mosquitoes this year are more numerous and more vicious than I remember in years past. I kill at least a dozen each day inside my house. The kids are getting eaten alive, but I guess considering all the dangerous stuff mosquitoes carry, I should just be thankful they (my kids) are still alive.

Now for the birds. In years past, we usually have a bully Magpie that chases the sparrows and finches away from the bird feeders we put out. This year we have two Magpies nesting, and they had babies. Their favorite activity all day is chasing my cat around. I woke up a week ago to their squawking and looked out my sliding door to see my cat cornered and staring at the fence with one Magpie on top of the fence and one on the ground behind her. And the noise! It's worse than roosters.

Here's a short video of them bullying Brownie the cat, who came to the front door meowing to come in away from these obnoxious birds. (The cats are strictly outdoor cats and only ask to come in during snowstorms when we let them sleep in the garage.) It's not great cinematography; the camera seems to lose focus from the subject partway through, but you'll see why.



The last few days I've heard some higher-pitched squawking and discovered that we have four baby Magpies in the tree. (Try to imagine the video with four more voices. Annoying!) These babies are as big as their parents; their tail feathers just haven't grown in all the way. Since they can't fly away yet, they spend all day creating a racket, and their parents spend all day yelling at the cats who probably have headaches from the noise and wouldn't want to chase these crazy birds anyway. Kent wants to borrow a BB gun from someone. I've taken to spraying them with a jet stream from the garden hose. Either way, I'm hoping they vacate soon and let the quieter birds come back to our trees.

6 comments:

Sylwia Lipinska Hardman said...

i tried to watch the video, but it says that it's private??? i'm amazed that an outdoor cat would be scared of some birds. i'd think he would just eat them!

Sylwia Lipinska Hardman said...

oh, and don't shoot the birds! haven't you read the books about people killing off birds in china and also in new england? and what about the old hymn, don't shoot the little birds?

Mary said...

I fixed the privacy problem on the video. Sorry 'bout that. I'm new to YouTube.

I won't let Kent shoot them (although one state hosts a website that recommends a shotgun for that purpose). I've read that if humans harass them enough, they will leave. So now my kids run outside yelling and waving their arms at the birds whenever it gets too noisy.

Charlotte said...

Mosquitoes were horrible in North Carolina!! I feel for you. When we first moved to New England people said it was a buggy summer. We couldn't believe how bug free it was.

That video made me sad for your poor cat. I hope you scare those birds away!!

Debra said...

Loved the video. Magpies are smart birds but definitely lacking in the song department. Maybe if the mosquitoes get bad enough they'll chase away the birds.
:)

mindy said...

how did I miss this? They are/were certainly bold! What pests! I like magpies, but not as houseguests.