Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

The sun shines brightly this Sunday morning, Mother's Day 2009. The heat and humidity of yesterday is gone, replaced by low humidity and a brisk wind.

The first thing I did this morning after getting up from bed was to go out to my Purple Martin house and tear out yet another house sparrow nest. I've been tearing out their nests for about 10 days now. The Purple Martins arrived on schedule, May 1st. They took up residence in the other five apartments but the determined house sparrows will not give up on their nest building in the one apartment. After I cleaned out their messy nest and was walking back to the house, I noticed that both of the sparrows were having sex (or else they were playing leap frog) on the ledge in front of their desired apartment. I took this as their version of giving me the Universal Finger (aka as the Digital Salute.) I may have to escalate this battle of wits and wait until they lay their eggs and then throw out the whole batch; nest, eggs and all. I would like to throw out the sparrows too if I could ever catch them.

Last night I worked late at the hotel. I had a caller on the phone who originally called about the availabity of accomodations for herself and her pet but the conversation quickly went off into another whole direction about her visit to a dog breeder that day and how she said she was "misled" as to the quality of the pups she viewed. She said the puppies looked like they were "shot out of a cannon." I didn't get the connection between this room availability until she said she didn't want "any surprises" if she rented our pet room. In other words, an ironclad guarantee that she would be completely satisfied with her stay and accommodations. I patiently listened to her and stated our accommodations and amenities but did not give her the ironclad guarantee that she obviously wanted. I have found from past experience that callers who go on long tangents on the phone never make the reservation. Maybe they're lonely and just want someone to talk to. This is one of the things I like about my job as a hotel front desk clerk, observing human nature. After awhile most of them fall into certain categories. This one falls into the Twilight Zone. Beep, beep, dit, dit, dah dit.

After checking my Facebook account this morning, I made a call to my Mother to wish her a happy Mother's Day. Again, no one answered the phone. I left a message on her answering machine. I don't know why I do that because she doesn't check her answering machine. I had planned to take the 2 1/2 drive up to Pennsylvania to visit her today but I agreed to work for my co-worker who was regularly scheduled to work this weekend. I'm only supposed to work Monday evenings 3 to 11 PM but I've been work all kinds of hours the past few weeks and will continue to do so until next month. Her son is leaving for Iraq next week and she wanted to spend as much time with him as she could before he ships out.

Next Tuesday I'm filling in for another co-worker who is going on vacation to Ireland. Next Friday I'm filling in for another co-worker who has a court date. I'm glad to have the extra hours (helps to pay the mortgage) but with this kind of schedule it's hard to take a few days to visit my Mother. I also want to visit my Aunt Mabel who is recovering from an operation. I also have to return some family history records to my cousin Elsie Mae. And, just this week I received an invitation to attend a family reunion to be held this August at Nottingham Park in Oxford, PA. Lots on my schedule. Never a dull moment.

I just finished talking on the phone to my longtime friend Ed from my high school days in Pennsylvania. He has a second home in Rehoboth Beach. It seems every time he comes down to visit, I'm working that weekend. Hopefully I can see him on Memorial Day weekend. As of now, I have Saturday and Sunday off that weekend. Maybe by then the house sparrows will have given up on building their nest in my Purple Martin house. That's one battle I'm going to win.


  1. Ron, this turf war you are having with the birds. Its just a matter of time before you start looking like Tippi Hedren. One day you will go outside and they will all be sitting on your roof. HA! Mike and Glenn s.c. ca

  2. Mike,

    The other birds appreciate my diligence in making a home available for them. I get rid of the trespassers. I never did like bullies. That's what the house sparrows are, bullies. They are a non-native species that has just about eliminated some of our native species. I'll win this war.

  3. Anonymous6:08 PM

    why don't you bundle some chicken wire and put it in the nesting box for a week or so...bobcham

  4. I have taken that route. All I needed to do was block the entrance with masking tape. The only problem is the sparrows will go into one of the other nests and make a nest there regardless of any other bird's eggs or live babies in that nest. Last year I blocked the sparrows and one of them went into one of the Purple Martin nests and killed the three baby Purple Martins by pecking their eyes out. Make no mistake about it, some may think the sparrows are cute and feel sorry for them but they are vicious and nasty. They will kill the adult bird if they can. Check my previous blog posting where they killed the adult blue bird and made their nest over the live baby chicks (who eventually died because they starved to death.)

    The birdman who put up my Purple Martin house wanted to throw a nest of live baby sparrows out. I wouldn't let him do that. That is a bit too much for me. Since I'm not successful in discouraging the sparrows from building their nest, I will wait until they lay their eggs then toss everything out. I've already done that with one bluebird house. The sparrows haven't come back. Same thing happened last year.

    It will take some diligence on my part of discourage these interlopers but I am willing to do it so the native bird species can have a safe and secure place to nest. There are many other places for the sparrow to nest. It's the sparrow's choice. I don't want to hear that they're just following their "instinct." They can follow that instinct and nest elsewhere just like the swallows did when Bill covered up the camera on our porch so the swallows wouldn't nest there. Those little "cute" chirpers are fighting a losing battle with me.


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