Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bird Wars

It began when we discovered a huge nest in one of our trees in the backyard built by a long-tailed grackle, which is in essence a big blackbird. The nest must have been a foot and a half in diameter, nestled 20 feet up in the tree.
Their squawking was annoying but that was not the worst of it. 
A young sparrow ventured too close to the nest and was brutally attacked by a female grackle,  while its mother watched helplessly. The blackbird viciously pecked the small bird's eyes out, and then five or six of them went for its face. My husband's righteous indignation grew to the point that he was ready to go to Walmart and buy a shotgun to blast the venomous creatures. He tried shooing the grackles away, but it was too late. The poor little sparrow just sat there on the ground with no face.
If that wasn't bad enough, the female blackbird was now empowered to call a bunch of her  group to settle in our trees to form a community.
After the vicious attack, we weren't going to let that happen.
We wanted our robin and mockingbird families back with their sweet songs, and so the Bird Wars began.
Whenever the blackbirds attempted to land in our trees, I'd run outside shooing them away by waving a dish towel, and yelling, "Go away, get out of here. Shoo!" I'd yell and scream at them until they would finally take the hint and fly into a different yard.
My husband took a different tactic by attaching an extension handle onto the hose creating a powerful water canon to discourage them away. 
That worked well until the hose sprung a leak and the water turned to a trickle.
Finally, when we asked our gardener to remove the nest, he scurried up the tree and knocked it down.
The birds were not discouraged. Not wanting to give up the place they'd chosen to nest, their numbers increased.
We keep chasing them away whenever they fly into our trees.
My husband will buy a new hose, and keep spraying them.
For now, the blackbirds seem to understand the message that they're  unwanted, and other birds are returning to our yard.
We'll see if we won the war now that we've been gone a few days.
Who knows? Maybe they will only have moved to the front yard.
Do any of you have tips for getting rid of unwanted blackbirds? We'd love to say, "Quoth the grackles, never more."


~Nancy Jill


  1. What a great story... Here we have a serious pigeon problem prompting some residence to perch a menacing plastic owl on the roof. For a time it seemed the pigeons were fooled, wary of gathering near this oddly, immovable creature. But, soon covered in pigeon poop, you knew the pigeons would not easily be evicted.

  2. I suppose as long as we have yards and trees, there will be war!