Thursday, April 05, 2007

There Goes The Neighborhood

Man, I never thought I'd see the day that I had much of anything in common with the locals. But I find I do. A resentment toward newcomers! Heck, I've only been here six years myself. Still wet behind the ears.

I'm beginning to see what drives them. Especially when those out of state developers come in with plans for their infernal high rises. Yeah, they're good looking and entertaining over coctails, but oh, what they do to the neighborhood!

No, it's not Mr. Chesrown nor Mr. Stone - it's Magpies! What slobs! How can such a pretty bird make such a mess! This is the first year I've seen so many of them here.

Lots of them in Montana but apparently they're moving west - and they've decided on one of my pines in which to roost. I'm hoping the third time is the charm. That's how many times I've gone out with broom rake and hoe to pull their efforts down. Each time they've built a little bit higher. If there is another I'll have to lug the ladder out too. At least it has been a good stretching exercise - for my back and my patience. I'm really not into my husband's solution of trying to dissuade them with a pellet gun, nor am I inclined to "trap and relocate" as a multitude of web sites suggest. How the heck do you trap a Magpie anyway??

Now I wouldn't mind so much if so much wasn't at stake. The little guys whose midst they are invading and were here first. The surrounding pines are filled with Robin nests. I really love watching the hatchlings, almost as big as their parents, begging to be fed like politicians at the public trough.

Then there are the really vulnerable. My favorite Killdeer who are ground nesters and would be extinct if they weren't so prolific. They protect their nests with the ferocity of Republicans protecting their status in Idaho. Unfortunately the Republicans are the more successful of the two.

What's one to do? I understand from my research that Magpies are really pretty neat birds. They mate for life, tend to live in colonies, are entertaining and sociable. If only they didn't snatch the neighbors' eggs and off spring I might feel a bit more charitable.

I have my guard dog if I can keep him awake. I have a fake Osprey guarding the fish pond. That might keep them at bay for awhile. The pellet gun is probably useless considering my aim and eyesight. Maybe, just maybe we can all live together in harmony if I keep diligent watch.

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