Thursday, May 17, 2012



Last year this time I had some persistent tenants move in. A Phoebe family took up residence on my porch no matter how hard I tried to discourage them. I really didn't care that much that they wanted this neighborhood, it was just their location  didn't suit either of us.

They insisted on building their nest right by the hammock that I have on my porch. Now I have a wrap around porch so there were four options they could have chosen. I tried but could not convince them to try another corner. I finally caved to their stubbornness and let them have the spot they wanted.

Now I wasn't thrilled but was Ok with this, however they took serious offense at my having the audacity to want to lie in my hammock-- EVER. I got quite used to being scolded in Phoebe profanity any time I wanted to enjoy a swing. It was kind of cute.

They eventually ran me off except for the predawn hours when they found me harmless. I grudgingly bowed to the .08 ounce bullies and accepted their terms. Sadly, the constant 100+ temps last year cooked the eggs and they never hatched. No Phoebes came back this year.

Instead, a pair of Barn Swallows have also decided I had the best location to raise a family. I admit the Barn Swallows are handsome birds and they do eat flying insects, especially flies. Plus, plus.

However while I have two nice out buildings and my neighbor has an actual barn, my porch seems to be prime bird real estate. And yes, the chosen spot is also right by my hammock.

The light fixture is their choice for a nest.
However these little fellows are fearless. I don't impress them much and while they do flip me a feather every now and then, it doesn't seem to matter much to them if I want to swing and watch. Occasionally to keep me in my place, they dive bomb me and fly with in about a foot of my face, chirping their warning.

They do have strange nest building techniques however. They are mud dobbers.

This is a partially built nest. These two are tireless workers. They have to fly about a two tenths  of a mile to my neighbor's pond to pick up mud. Then they fly back to apply it ever so carefully. They take turns and as soon as the mud is properly placed, they are off to the pond again. They work quickly.

I have two of these unattractive lights on each side of the porch. They are determined to make it home. At night, they pick a light they are not working on to roost.

Sorry, I took this in the dark and wasn't even sure my camera was pointed at them.
I really don't mind though I do wish they would not just let loose their droppings on the porch floor. I think I am a pretty patient landlady and would appreciate a fly off during the night when they have to poop. Fair is fair.

One night's worth of droppings.
I guess I will just have to adjust to the fact that this is the prize nesting location and just enjoy the comings and goings. Hopefully the heat this year will not do in this family.

Side note. Today I have to go back to the dentist. That tooth ache I had a while back is no longer a tooth but the hole has not healed well. He really had to struggle to remove the bad molar. I am known for my long roots.

The teeth on either side are now sensitive to jarring when I walk so back to the dentist I go. If I lose them also, I guess I could always pose for  anti meth billboard ads:))

Always good to have a plan B.


  1. Barn Swallows can be downright scary. We had them in a barn in a previous house many years ago. They quickly trained the cats not to go near the barn by dive bombing. They trained us pretty well too.

  2. Having read the above comment I do hope you are not 'Trained' by your visitors.
    I take my hat off to you for being so brave at the dentist ...I have to face it ...I'm a coward. xx

  3. Your bird chronicle is wonderful. Sorry about the dental woes, but who would be able to resist signing on an anti-meth campaigner/model of your humor and determination, except maybe an even more determined feathered squatter. Hope no plan B will be called for!

  4. Birds... I hope they let you enjoy your hammock when their young hatch. Maybe by then, they will be used to you. Suppose you could put newspapers on the floor, like they do in bird cages.

  5. Your bird families are very persistent! I am always amazed at seeing those mud nests built. I hope you end up with some cute babies this year. And I also really hope that your dentist visit turns out well. I am also a coward at the dentist...

  6. Glad they leave you allow for the most part. A few years ago, I went for a walk one day and apparently passed a nest. They chased me for a city block.

  7. I've found that wildlife wants to nest where it wants to nest -- and there isn't a whole lot we can do about it. The only success I've ever had to is wait until the season is over, then change things a round, and maybe they don't come back the next year.

    Good luck on your dental journey. I had a heck of a time last year, but finally got things straightened out and just got back from my checkup with an all okay.

  8. Oh I am so sorry for the tooth pain- I know how aggravating that is. Sorry about your bird problems. I solved mine with the owl pic and they moved back to DH's shop and the old barn.

  9. You would think that I would have learned by now not to be drinking coffee when I read your blog. Anti-meth billboard indeed!

    About the birds? In the south they say to paint the porch ceiling sky blue to confuse the birds and insects into believing that the ceiling is sky. For what it's worth.

  10. Oh, poop ... well at least you can use your hammock this season, Patti. Sorry to hear about your teeth and I hope that you find relief soon. When our mouths hurt we are constantly reminded of it aren't we?

    Take care,

    Kathy M.

  11. Aw Patti your porch is so inviting no wonder the birds like it. anti metho billboard, ha, you can always put a humorous spin on thing, I hope you don't loose the teeth.

  12. Swallows can be pretty aggressive, but it is the red wing blackbirds that scare me a little. They nest in the field and do not like it when anyone violates their rather huge personal space bubble.

  13. Ouch! WALKING makes them hurt? Definitely worth a trip to finance your dentist's next vacation if necessary.

    I have bluebirds nesting in my bluebird house this year. I am so excited, I want to knit little caps and make curtains.

  14. Love your bird story. We once had neighbors who lowered the top part of their windows in the spring. Once a wren flew in & claimed a pot of ivy as her territory. They vowed to keep her as long as she wanted to stay. The neighbors enjoyed dropping in to check on the wren activities. Eventually she moved on but not before the homeowners had suffered through some hot days & nights.

  15. You have to admire these hard-working little birds. Stubborn too. I hope they will have young ones for you to enjoy. Hope you teeth will be OK. I went to an oral surgeon yesterday. Will go back on June 7 to have my long root taken out which should make the infection, still there after two root canals, go away.
    Thank you for your kind word about Angel.

  16. Funny how the birds just want that particular spot on your porch. Must face the right direction in regards to where the sun shines, etc.
    I've been having the hummingbirds whiz really close to my face as I sit on the patio. They love my flowers and I love to watch them, but I'm not quite sure why they want to fly so close to me! At the speed they fly, those little pointy long bills might just do some damage if they ran into me.

  17. Oh I love Swallows and you are not even in Capistrano.

    The good news about bird poop (I am an expert) is that it does not contain E coli and other mammal pathogens. Birds have their own pathogens....just in case you were concerned. Dianne

  18. We have had birds build nests in our front yard and even on the lights over the garage. My mom was deathly afraid of birds (I think because of the movie) so we never got that close to a nest as kids. My kids thought it was fascinating! Good luck at the dentist.
    The Drama Queen is getting her wisdom teeth out tomorrow.

  19. I know that having these Birds pooping near you, or even, possibly, on you, is really not cool!
    But what are we to do about our feathered friends who are looking for a safe haven?
    I hope all goes well with them, my dear.

    Your Dental problems---Was that a "Dry Socket"....Sooooo Very Painful...! I hope the dentist was able to fix that, very quickly, and that you will be out of pain now....!!!

  20. We had phoebes for the first time nesting on a light fixture under our 2 story high deck, 3 little ones fledged and it's now empty. I haven't seen our swallows yet this year ...maybe we've switched birds, Patti.

  21. Birds are interesting, aren't they???? They like your rafters I'm sure... Your home does look like HOME to THEM....

    We get the bird droppings on our deck --but not from nesting. I feed my birds there ---and they sometimes deposit their 'thank yous' for me!!!!! Fun Fun!!!!

    Enjoy your swallows....

  22. Sorry to hear about the dental woes. My dr gave me some awesome pills that really worked against the pain. Re the phoebees -- yeah wow -- we have two nests going every summer right on the security light and in an upper and dad are both on their second broods...the kids don't like to leave the nest very soon and the juvies almost spill to the ground! And they are extremely messy! Devoted parents, though!~

  23. Smartcat
    So far, I find their occasional fly bys rather amusing.

    I really don't mind the dentist. I go every 4 months to have my teeth cleaned. Was hoping for a full set when I die like my Grandmother but not to be I guess.

    Thanks so much. I do hope I can avoid billboard status.

    Not a bad idea. Just need to find a way to anchor the news papers.

    Sadly my dentist visit was a waste of time. He wasn't there after an 90 mile round trip.

    I have heard of those things happening. Kind of right out of "The Birds".

    Yikes Tom, that sounded awful. Seems when he pulled my tooth, he loosened up the surrounding teeth. Supposidly they will tighten up again.

    Coloring out side the lines,
    I am just going to have to find an owl pic also. Too late this year but next year, I'll be ready.

    RV Vagabonds,
    Sorry about the coffee, glad I could give you a chuckle. I hadn't heard that about the color blue. Wish I had known earlier.

    Thanks. Kind of like a headache, hard to get away from. Hopefully I am on the mend.

    Linda Starr,
    Well the dentist wasn't in the office but the girl thinks I just need to give it more time. I am not signing up for billboard duty yet.

    You are right. If humans had the same personal space requirement, there would be no cities.

    I am SO ENVIOUS of your blue bird tenants. I have to settle for the swallows which have some blue on them.

    And I thought I was accomodating. Wow, they were truly impressive.

    Wow, two root canals and still a problem? Mercy, I sure hope the third one is a charm.

    I guess they like it for the same reason I did when I put the hammock there.
    Those little hummers can really get close, especially if you wear bright red blouses.

    How nice to have my own personal bird poop specialist:)) Good to know though isn't there some kind of lung disease you get from them?

    Mom of 12,
    Aw, best wishes to Drama Queen at the dentist. Pulling teeth is no fun. Get lots of ice cream for her.

    I know what you mean Naomi. I had a dry socket once and dread ever having another. They HURT. The girl told me my teeth were just loose from the effort to pull the bad one. We are on a wait and see program now.

    How funny. I am glad you gave my Phoebes a good home. I'll be patient with your swallows.

    Well now, I guess if I think of them as thank you notes, it will make the clean up much easier. Thanks, I like that positive spin.

    I Wonder Wye,
    So far the pain pills he gave me just put me to sleep but don't really get rid of the pain while awake. Hopefully time will help.
    I agree, my phoebes were great parents that first year.

  24. Interesting post, Patti. I've got a first ever pair of Phoebe's nesting and raising a family on my porch too. They've been gracefully welcomed and are good neighbors. In previous years barn swallows to the boot. They're penchant for leaving dropping all over everything including the swinging couch made them unwelcome.... :)

  25. I was disappointed when we built the barn and did not get swallows. Then, we added electricity and they came in to nest on the light fixtures. I love them. When they really settle in they fly behind me catching bugs as I stir them up with the ride-on mower. I usually put shavings on the barn floor to catch their droppings. Obviously not ideal for your porch. :) Sorry about your teeth! I finally got a bridge last week that I think may hold. Thankfully, Mrs works for my dentist....

  26. Last night I heard a peeping noise coming from the top of the house. Upon further investigation, a flicker has pecked a hole right into the house and is raising chicks! So now I have to wait until the chicks leave the nest until I get someone to come and patch up the hole!

    Cheeky little bugger...

  27. Oh I hope your mouth and teeth feel better soon - I feel for you.
    And I love birds, but I would not want them to make a mess of poops around me either! lol sandie

  28. Birds building nest on our porches is a mixed bag. They are interesting, but you are right, they don't show a lot of respect. If only we could put up signs that direct them to acceptable spots to build if they insist on using our property. Then, there is the mess they leave behind. I also worry about disease. That dive bombing would put me over the edge. I have no advice for your situation.

    We were able to dissuade the nest building who chose our porch for the past two years. We stuffed parts of a cardboard box in the area where the nest was built. Momma Bird was not happy. She kept investigating the chosen spot, but finally left when she saw we were not open to accommodating her.

  29. Sorry to hear about your tooth pain. I hope you are better soon.

  30. troutbirder,
    I guess the main advantage swallows have over my former phoebes is that they tolerate me better. Enjoy your phoebes.

    Lucky you to have an in with your dentist. Glad all is well.
    Though I don't have electricity in my out buildings perhaps if I put up fake light fixtures, they will move there next year. Worth a try.

    Wow, you have had a home invasion. That is being a bit pushy. Aren't you sweet to wait till they fledge.

    Chatty Crone,
    Still not happy with my mouth but am getting a wee bit better.
    Fortunately, I can hose the poop off with a high powered water spray.

    Retired English Teacher,
    Seems when I am able to dissuade one species, a new species with new requirements settles. I guess just staying one step behind is Ok.
    Thanks, not well yet but getting there.

  31. Re lung diseases...only if you live with dusty parrots and even then you don't always get the lung disease. Its not a real disease, only an allergy.

    PS. Cats carry a virus that can make you crazy.

  32. I love the noisy birds in the spring. When we travel I especially notice the ones we don't have at home.

    I once had to change my walking route to avoid the crows ready to bombard me to keep me from their nests. Not fun, but still interesting.

  33. ok, in the beginning of the post I was enchanted with the hammock (I love hammocks) and with the idea of having a "new family" like this in the house. Then I saw the poop... and I could relate to your reluctance in having the Phoebe family move in :)

  34. Please let me know honey where this Billboard will be so I can drive by and do a pic for my blog. I am running low on material. lol
    Seriously so sorry your having this pain and trouble. Teeth will probably be the death of me in the long run.
    I should of married a dentist instead of a dang brick layer.
    So far living here I have been lucky with my porch but I am so afraid when I hit publish your comment button my porch will soon be full of those nests.
    Right now they love the pink house which is fine with me since I don't live in it.
    I love your that you have your hammock on your porch. How cool is that.
    Just wanted to come by and say hello and see how your doing.
    As always I adore coming over here and reading what you are up too.
    When are you going to share your life as a blogazine guest for me.
    I think I have been after you for years. lol
    Love ya

  35. What pests! That's what I would consider them as. Re your extraction, you should get a dental implant so the neighboring teeth don't move and throw your bite out of whack.

  36. Patti, Even the birds here in CO are talking about your hammock. It's apparently the "in" place to nest. I think they're selling time-shares. I just had a tooth pulled, too - broke too far down into the gum line. It is an 8 month process before I'll have a tooth "implant." So far, so good in the gum healing aspect of it.

  37. Dianne,
    Thank goodness I can now blame it all on my cats:)) Thanks.

    Linda Myers,
    I like your attitude. That is how I look at it also.

    Introverted Art,
    Aren't hammocks just the best place for mental R&R? If I wouldn't fall out, I'd sleep in one.

    Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Know what you mean. Dentist are rediculously high priced. Marrying one would be great.
    I'll let you know if I get the billboard job:))
    About the blogazine, it is a great format but I just can't think of enough to say on my own blog. Me too on material.

    Not sure I can afford the implant. They are so expensive and have no guarantees. But then, neither do I:))

    Now that is just too funny:)) Time shares would explain a lot about the variety of birds that are claiming my porch. That gave me the giggles. Thanks.
    I think they give you 8 months so you can save the money needed. Good luck.

  38. Oh my I remember the other bird adventure. Now thee new ones are not that bright if they don't know where the barn is. lol
    Hope your teeth will settle down. Implants are really not worth it at our age.

  39. Lovely and funny story about the birds. My daughter in Australia has also birds in her porch, but she has also treefrogs which are a threat to the newly hatched chicks.
    Treefrogs are generally harmless and even useful for they eat cockroaches.
    Patti, I hope the dentist can help you well with your sore teeths. A toothache is sometimes worse than anything else.
    Good luck!

  40. Haha.. Just like us, they also simple love you !!!

    I recently rescued a birdie stuck in between our door and a wire mesh. Dunno how it got there and it didn't even make any noise. I felt very good about it until I realized maybe it did want to stay there. and my silly antics !! :-/

  41. Dear Arkansas Pattie, . . . your accommodations must seem first rate to the Phoebes and now the Barn Swallows. They are giving you a five-star recommendation!

    I hope all goes well at the dentist. Peace.

  42. I have some birds that insist on building their nest in my hanging plant on the porch every spring. I'm always afraid I'll drown the little birds when I water the plants.

    Gee, I hope your dental problems are solved. Toothaches are no fun.

  43. Patti,
    What an interesting patterns the bird has...their next is quite intriguing. I guess they just want to be close to you :)
    I hope your dental problems get fixed...I hate the dentist!

  44. Heidrun,
    Ha ha, I know. They are giving all barn swallows a bad name. I agree about implants and my age.

    Reader Wil,
    Thanks Wil. Hopefully it will be all over soon.
    I did not know that about tree frogs. Interesting.

    Aw thanks. You probably did the right thing. If he wanted back there, he could always return.

    Nice to be poplular but I just hope buzzards don't hear about it:))

    Wow, you really have a close up view of your birds. Seems you have prime real estate also. Thanks, am a bit better now.

    I think they are quite attractive. In flight, you first think blue bird with the flash of blue.
    Still working on the tooth problem. Thanks.

  45. Do they dive bomb as much as the hummingbirds? They can be lethal.

  46. I battle the swallows on my carport, that's when I pull out my very real lookin' rubber snake, Lucifer.

    Not that I have anything against barn swallows but ya should see what they do to my car!!! It ain't pretty!

    Know my prayers are with ya sweetie. Toothaches are a demon of their own.

    God bless and have a good evenin' my friend!!! :o)

  47. Hey honey just checking on you to see if your okay.
    Hope your having a good week.

  48. I saw the neatest sign that said "Remember that if Plan A doesn't work, there are still 25 more letters."

    Glad you didn't have to go too far down the alphabet.

    The bluebird parents are wearing themselves out, feeding their new babies. I haven't looked inside, but I haven't HEARD a cowbird in there, so I'm hoping all is well.

  49. Ginnie,
    Ha, those hummers really put on a show of attitude don't they.

    Ok, now all I have to do is get a fake snake and an owl for next year. This year, they beat me to it.

    Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Thanks Maggie for being sweet and checking on me. Just nothing to write about lately.

    Mary lee,
    Ha , guess if I ever get to plan Z I should just change goals.
    Oh how I hate those darn cowbirds. Lucky you to have blues.

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