Friday, June 17, 2016

Duct Tape

I provide water in a birdbath all summer, and I keep it clean and fresh. I plant flowers to attract the bugs that birds want to eat. I leave seedheads standing all fall and winter for them. They raise families in all the leafy trees and shrubs I provide. Really, I do a lot for the feathered flocks.

Then they go and do this.

They shred the window screens on our house, to get bitty strands of netting for their nests. They have been doing it for years. My high-tech damage repair involves putting a piece of Scotch tape over the holes.

It's the house sparrows of course -- the non-native, aggressive little birds that displace bluebirds and other small songbirds.  According to Cornell Ornithology Lab, house sparrows live exclusively around humans, where they thrive in malls, nest in building signage, and love nothing more than a wreath on a front door to inhabit. They are not found in forests or wild areas.

I knock their nests out of the rain gutters, and I chase them from the front door wreath every few days. We had to nail a block of wood over the open slot under the mailbox where the paper goes because they kept nesting in there. It is, of course, a losing battle.

But what to do about the screens? My Scotch tape solution is getting ridiculous on some of the windows. This latest hole in the bathroom window screen needs a chunk of duct tape. I don't think a bit of clear Scotch tape will patch it.


You can get screens made from aluminum mesh rather than the fiberglass that the sparrows seem to like. Is it even feasible to replace the tall, oversize window screens on our house with custom built aluminum mesh screens? Our windows are all 6 feet tall.

Somehow replacing the screens does not seem like an option, and who's to say these persistent birds would leave the fine aluminum mesh strands alone?  They seem capable of using any kind of building material they see, and repurposing any part of the house to their own ends.  I just live here, it's their house.

I give up. Where's the duct tape?

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