May 14, 2016

I Win The Bird Nest War

After I posted yesterday afternoon about the birds in their first phase of nest building, I decided I would keep the hounds from protesting and nip the project in the bud right from the start. I remember how much bird crap I was seeing on the carport floor and on my cars a few years ago ... I wasn't going to go through that again.

A little after 6pm I climbed up to the level of the thermometer to clean out all the wet leaves, mud etc and washed the the front with some window cleaner.  It wasn't even 2 hours later they were back to start over on their project.

I was going to end it by this morning and without even asking, last night my brain went into analysis mode to find a way to keep them away and prevent future nest building. I had my answer this morning and my thoughts were confirmed around 10:32am when Greg commented about his experience using sheet metal in his barn to prevent the same problem.

By this morning at 9:10am they had made this much progress after starting over. Busy little creatures.


I was thinking along the same lines of thought as Greg ... something over the top angled enough to keep the nest from sticking. Now some people here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana have a different way of thinking when it comes to home renovations, repairs etc. I'll not discuss what those might be but if you ever travel through the country in rural areas, you know what I am talking about.

So I had ruled out using duct tape and cardboard, plywood, particle board, metal screens, and even a roof shingle from my spare supply. I was thinking last night of a thin piece of sheet metal. It was something I didn't have laying around but I knew the hounds would like to take a trip to the local hardware store in the morning. It's family owned, not a big name store but is clean, well organized and has everything.

Before loading the hounds I did some rough estimate and decided I needed something the size of 3"x10". That would give me an inch to bend to get the angle and a place to screw into the wall. It would be long enough over the width of the thermometer.

Unlike Greg I don't have a great workshop, or even a good work bench. For the 19 years I have lived here, the work bench has been either my step outside or the island in the kitchen. Since I have no machinery to work with metal, a pair of pliers would have to suffice in bending the metal.

After seeing Greg's comment at 10:32am, I made a reply soon after, then Sadie, Stella and even Heidi were loaded in the FJ and on our way to the hardware store not even a mile away.  As you see they had exactly what I needed, although a little bigger size than estimated. It was 6"x18".

Believe me when I say that anything mechanical is not one of my strong points. Interior or exterior painting I can do and like to do but when it comes to tools, electric saws or even a metal saw ... it's best to leave things the way they are ... the 6"x18" would be fine. I dug out the nest material from the back of the thermometer, cleaned the front of the thermometer with some window cleaner and proceeded to hang the piece of sheet metal.

 Like I said, when it comes to anything mechanical "Murphy" is always looking over my shoulder. I can do math, any kind of Excel spreadsheets, fix computer problems and even software problems ... but not mechanical stuff. As you can see I was "close but no cigar" ... 1/4" off between the left and right screw. The top of the sheet metal wasn't straight.

Usually I am a perfectionist and that 1/4" off would drive me insane. I have only two choices but time to see if it bothers me that much. I can leave it as it is and don't spend a lot of time glancing at it to where the 1/4" difference will bother me ... Or I can bring my step ladder and tools back out and move the metal up a 1/2" and redo the mount so it's the same distance from the top and will look straight.

With "global warming" kicking our asses this spring in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana .. it's 47° in the month of May right now at 12:37pm ... I'll wait until next week when it gets warmer, apply some primer and then paint the sheet metal the same color as the wall.

Looking at that photo it might be a good idea to move it up a 1/2" or so to expose the numbers 40&50 instead of blocking them .... yet that would give those relentless birds room underneath to slide inside and attempt to build something.


Sitting here at my desk I can look out the window and see the new modification. Yes, the birds (up to 3 at one time) have come back on numerous occasions as I write this post and they are a little confused. So they have lined up on my FJ roof rack looking towards me as if to ask "what's up with that?"

Just as I post this, I am not sure this will be a permanent fixture. I don't like change that much in house design and it's one reason I still have 41 year old wrought iron trim that needs replaced, still standing on the edge of the carport or other stuff throughout the house.

In the meantime, the war against nest building has been won here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

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