Bird Brains

One of the fun things about living on a boat is you never know what problems you’re going to face.  Maybe it’s keeping your boat from sinking, and maybe it’s keeping your hammock in the shade.  Every day is an adventure.

This morning we woke up to the twittering of little birds, and soon realized that they were building a nest in our rigging.  Cute, right?  How about baby birds falling on the deck during the next strong breeze?  Or rotten eggs up on our mast because we’ve moved the boat and mom & dad can’t find their nest?  And what about the poop?  Not so cute.


So we spent a significant part of the day trying to get the point across to these little birds that our mast is not a good place for a nest.

We started by sending Sam to remove the nest-in-progress from the second spreader, and to sit up there for a while and play scarecrow.  The birds were quite perturbed by Sam’s presence and wanted to peck him, but he’d shout and scare them off each time they tried.   They gave up, but it was only temporary.

They’d go away and come back, go away and come back.  Eli took a turn playing scarecrow.  We tried Nerf guns.  We tried an air horn.  They weren’t getting the point.  Itty bitty birdy brains.

Eventually the female gave up and only the male would return periodically.  He’d alight on the mast and chirp an “all clear” to his mate, which simultaneously alerted me to his presence.  I’d go out and shake the rigging until he went away again.

Finally, I managed to whack him by swinging a halyard.  There was a small puff of feathers and he fluttered away, beaten but unharmed, to the distant trees.  He fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia", but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go in against a Sailor when his deck is on the line"!