Diversionary Bird-Dom

This post is dedicated to my friend, Mimi. I’m sure she would have screamed louder than I did.

Our office building is nothing fancy. In fact, it’s made out of cinderblock, so it’s damned cold in the winter and sweltering hot in the summer. It has a flat roof, so every few years we have to retar the thing. My husband, the dear Mr. Demonic, is on an austerity kick due to two kids in private college and an economy that’s going south faster than a flock of geese, and we have foregone the usual maintenance, like roof, painting and new furniture.

As a result, the roof leaks and our drop ceiling tiles are all spotted and ugly. The paint is peeling on the outside of the building due to the massive icicle that formed on the side of the building. I took a picture of it, because it looked like it was edging toward the door and was going to devour us whole.

The other problem is the toilet. Oh, Lord. Not only is it old, but it doesn’t flush well. I’m thinking something is stuck in the escape pipe.

Our office bathroom fan is home to an army of sparrows. I don’t mind birds, in fact I have a cranky lovebird in my house. However, when they take up residence in the vent leading to the outside, that’s when I have to object.

Sparrows have to be one intelligence quotient above a chicken. They seem to prefer feathering their nests in vents rather than in bird houses. We had this problem in my house and I bought an assortment of bird dwellings to get them to lay off the vent. No luck. I solved the problem by shoving a bright yellow tennis ball in the vent, and voila! no more birds.

I can’t reach the vent at the office, it’s at second floor level. The birds come and go, and in the spring you can hear the baby birds cheeping away like they owned the place.

Last night, my Number 2 thought she heard a bird, but she claimed it was inside the building. Mr. Demonic pooh-poohed the idea, thinking how the hell would a bird get inside a building. (Let’s see… hole in roof? hole in vent?)

It turns out Number 2 was right. A sparrow decended out of our false ceiling and began to buzz her. Mr. D grabbed a box and cornered it in the copy room. He thought he had eliminated the bird problem, but noooo….

This morning I’m sitting at my desk minding my own business when a sparrow dive-bombs me, narrowly missing my head. He bounced off a window, and I screamed. (What? It could have been a bat.) The screaming caused him to fly to the other side of the office, where he flew into another window, obviously not hard enough, because he escaped. He flew back and forth for a time before hiding in a far corner.

The noise rousted Mr. D from his comfy office down the hall. He began to open all of the windows (there are eight big ones) to release our little avian visitor. It’s freaking 18 degrees outside, and a cinder block building doesn’t retain any heat whatsoever. We were reduced to Creamsicles in mere seconds. Mr. D took a huge piece of cardboard and shepherded the bird out of the window.

It’s now two hours later, and I’m just starting to warm up.

We should have left the bird inside. You know the thing is just going to find his way back in.

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7 Responses

  1. yep. Hear that tiny tapping? That’s Mrs Sparrow trying to get back inside… good luck getting any work done. 😉

  2. We have a pair in the store this winter. They’re getting brave enough to sit in the isles with customers walking by.

  3. A store I can see. There are birds stuck inside our airport, and I can see that too. There are trees and places to hide and garbage to eat. But inside an office building? We don’t even have plants or lunch breaks.

  4. The only way to keep it out is to stop making your building so warm and inviting. I bet if you keep those windows open it’ll never come back.

    Plus, you’ll save on heating.

  5. I had a heart attack by just reading your post. I can’t stop shuddering.

    I wish I could send you some of the sparrow-eating hawks that have chosen to hang out in my yard this winter.

    Now, I get big birds, eating little dead birds, right in front of my window. I’ve had liquid bowels for months.

  6. A swallow flew down the little vent chimney for our wood stove.

  7. I think you should pick up a cage and next time it comes in, have Mr. D shepherd it into the cage and be done with it. You can release it later. But yeah, as long as inside is warmer than out, they’ll keep coming in. They’re no dummies!

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