DD and I were in the living room, chatting, when I glanced outside at the balcony. There was a wee bird sitting on the railing.
“Ooh, look at the bird!” I said, pointing. The bird just perched there for a while, oblivious to the two people watching it on the other side of the sliding glass door.
“Awww,” murmured DD, ever the sucker for any member of the animal world. “It’s got a little stick or something in its mouth.”
Then the bird fluttered up into one of the two flower baskets hanging from the roof over the balcony.
We looked at each other for a long moment, each thinking the same thing.
“Is that bird – making a nest?” DD finally said.
I responded resolutely. “I sure hope not, because if she is, I’ve got to get that nest out of there. I am SO NOT going to get a baby bird in my mouth again!”
We carefully slid the balcony door further open. The bird was still hidden in the hanging basket. We tiptoed outside, and DD quietly went up to the hanging basket and jiggled it. The bird flew out and landed in a nearby tree, chirping angrily. I carefully took the basket down to see what was going on in there. I was sure hoping to not find a nest, but if I did, I was sure hoping to not find any eggs in it. As great as nature is and all that, I did NOT want to have to deal with yet another nest in yet another hanging basket that I wouldn’t be able to water till the babies left.
“There’s the stick she was holding,” DD pointed out. It was on top of some leaves, not underneath. Maybe she hadn’t yet constructed the nest?
I moved the leaves. And I saw the edge of a nest. My heart sank. I really, really, REALLY didn’t want to find eggs in it. If I did, I was going to have to put that basket right back up and try to ignore it for weeks till the eggs hatched and the babies grew and then left – and I was going to have to not water my lovely basket and I was also not going to be able to use my balcony as much as I usually do, so as to not disturb the mama bird (who, in my experience, was quite likely to be rather pissy every time I went out on the balcony).
But to my great relief, there were no eggs. And as much as I was reluctant to mess with nature, I scooped the nearly-completed nest out of the hanging basket. I also switched my two hanging baskets around, hoping to confuse the bird enough that she would go elsewhere. I felt awful doing this. All that bird wanted was a safe place to lay her eggs and raise her babies, and I wouldn’t let her. But I’ve had a nest in a hanging basket before, and although it IS kinda neat, it’s also a pain in the ass when said basket is in a high traffic area like at my front door! My balcony isn’t as busy as the front door, of course, but that bird had chosen the hanging basket right opposite the sliding glass door, so I would constantly be disturbing her every time I went out there. There are a number of other flower pots out there that require watering, and several patio chairs to sit in and soak up the late afternoon and evening sun, so there’s no way I’m not using my balcony now that nicer weather is here.
But that’s not going to happen now.
And there will be no small birds flying into my mouth ever again, if I can help it!