October 9, 2007 at 3:49 pm 3 comments

Whenever I think about critters, I think, “it’s a fallen world.” I’m probably more like that crazy lady in “Over The Hedge” than I’m willing to admit. But other than some issues with moles and snakes, I’ve historically had the most trouble with birds. They’re fine if they’re twittering in the backyard or perched on the birdfeeder, but even a cute little chickadee will look five times larger and more ominous if it’s in my garage. There were fat pigeons roosting, cooing and pooping in my primary school and home in Singapore, seagulls which chased (yes!) me up and down a beach in New Zealand, and a woodpecker pecking out the side of our house in Richmond. But THIS house in Winston is a veritable bird haven. They’re everywhere!! I’ve hung shiny ribbons and stuck special stickers on my doors and windows to stop birds from flying into the glass, scooped and buried a dead bird in our backyard in the rain, and learned to live with the constant tapping of cardinals on our windows throughout the summer, not to mention the loud chirping of baby chimney swifts nesting in our chimney.

Lately, because of thunderstorms, there were really smelly smells wafting from the chimney. So what did I do? I brilliantly googled “smells and chimney” and made myself even more anxious, reading story after story of dead animals in the chimney, or creosote mixed with water. I had to read the psalms to remind myself that we all live under God’s mercy, and that it is not my right to have an odorless chimney.

Those chimney swifts living in my chimney are protected by federal law, and the chimney cannot be cleaned or covered until they leave, so I prayed that the birds would fly away to Peru or the Amazon for the winter (they really do). The chimney sweep came by today, and thankfully, there haven’t been any chirps in the chimney in the last few days. I was told that the smell of bird droppings have been absorbed into the chimney, and that water and humidity interacting with the droppings enhanced the stink. Delightful. So, we are getting our chimney capped later this week, and in between then and now, there are thunderstorms in the weather forecast. So, I was most grateful when the sweep reappeared at the door holding a little bottle labeled “chimney deodorant.” YES!! I never thought I’d be so glad to see such a thing.


Entry filed under: Daily life.

Birthday Boy Joy In Growing Up

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. BirdGirl  |  October 15, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    If you find yourself still bird addled come next year when the swifts will be back, and probably still attracted to your chimney, you might consider an ultrasonic sound repeller. The important thing is to make sure that the sounds vary because otherwise the birs will get used to the sound. Bird-X, Inc,, carries all harmless to the birds and environmentally friendly solutions to bird and pest problems.

    Here’s one of the popular sound deterrents, Ultrason X:

    Good luck with your bird problems!

  • 2. leen  |  October 23, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    i’m really spooked out by pigeons too! I will walk away just to avoid them.

  • 3. Lily Tsai  |  November 10, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Yes, it is true that your blog came up the first when I googled it.


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