Thursday, June 20, 2024

I am a trespasser in my own back yard

For the last week or so, I've been harassed by a couple of mockingbirds that have built a nest in a shrub up against the back of my house. When I go outside to water the vegetable garden, or patrol the perimeter for rabbits, one of these avian terrorists is always on guard, and frequently swoops down and buzzes me like some kind of pint-sized dive bomber. I have been forced to wear a hat with an absurdly large brim, and carry a swatter to fend him (or her, as the case may be) off by waving it in a menacing fashion.

This business has excited some comment among the neighbors, who find my large hat and my violent wielding of a hand-held electric bug zapper rather droll. I might have to buy some shotgun shells loaded with salt, or something similar, and terminate these pests with extreme prejudice if I don't figure something else out soon. The deer and the rabbits are bad enough; but now I'm being plagued by the critter air force. Intolerable!


"I laugh at your puny defenses, human! Now get off my lawn!"

16 comments:

tom said...

Paco Estates is under siege? I didn't think your neighbors were that close; I was thinking Paco Estates had land spreading out so far and wide that it was very defensible. Is it lawful to discharge a firearm locally or is this going to become a North Carolina man story?

Paco said...

I was thinking Paco Estates had land spreading out so far and wide that it was very defensible.

Unfortunately, I can't control my airspace.

I do have some "less-than-lethal" shotgun shells (shot made of hard rubber or plastic). When I fired a couple at the range, they made more of "Pop!" than a "BOOM!" I could possibly get away with using some of those, perhaps; however, I'm reluctant - there are a dozen ways that could turn into a "North Carolina man" story.

RebeccaH said...

You need a cat.

Stephen A Skubinna said...

I guess .22 snake shot is one option.

rinardman said...

To kill a mockingbird, or not to kill a mockingbird. Based on my experience with them, I agree they are annoying. So I'll look the other way if you figure out a neighbor-friendly way to...uh, make them permanently less annoying.

And Harper Lee be damned.

Mick said...

There is surely a bluejay sitting nearby saying " shoot it Paco, you know you want to".

Veeshir said...

Maybe get a falcon.
One stop shopping for all your pest control needs.

Deborah said...

The hard rubber or plastic bullets would probably be lethal. I understand the frustration with critters. We have raccoons. But I decided to seek a deterrent, rather than kill. Moth balls are good, but need reapplication until they get the idea. My suggestion is, since the birdies have made a home, and are raising a family, just wait them out. Then put up deterrents after they vacate. Good luck!

Paco said...

I will probably not be able to use a shotgun because of the difficulty of getting a clear shot without the possibility of potting a neighbor on the other side of the holly tree hedge, or maybe blowing pieces of shingle off the roof. But, I have to admit, if I could, I would slaughter these things without mercy. Mockingbirds are the bullies of the bird world; they drive away the cardinals and bluebirds and finches, and I've seen them attack crows, turkey vultures and even hawks. And now me. I will certainly be making sure that they don't get the jump on me next year and build any nests in the shrubs.

Btw, I also saw a couple of rats in the yard - those, I will indeed shoot (they're low enough that I can get a good angle that won't endanger anything or anybody else).

rinardman said...

One word: air rifle.

Okay, that's two words, but one thought. If you're willing to spend enough, you can get one that is incredibly accurate at shorter distances, but long enough distances for this job. Plus, they're quiet. If they land in a tree where you can shoot upwards, they'll have a bad day. My friend has one that I used to shoot in my house (35 feet), and it would put the pellets in the same hole every time.
Keep in mind, when shooting upwards at a steep angle, aim a bit low.

Gregoryno6 said...

Your avian assaulters have cousins down here. They're known as Willy Wagtails.

JeffS said...

That's a good idea, r-man, although being aware of what's beyond the target remains valid. Such as shooting when the mockingbird is between you and a tree. Or the house. Subject to Mrs. Paco's approval, of course, although the pellet is not likely to do more than dent the siding.

And you can practice in the back yard, Paco, with suitable target backing; a couple layers of cardboard should suffice, but plywood or OSB is better. Just be mindful of ricochets; the final scene in "A Christmas Story" does have a basis in reality.

Paco said...

Thank you all for the suggestions. I shall keep them in mind as I subject this problem to meditation and prayer.

I did discover today, while I was watering the vegetable garden, that the little bastards really hate being sprayed with a hose.

rinardman said...

State Port Pilot headline: Local Man Terrorizes Innocent Mockingbirds, Has Angry Confrontation With PETA Members In His Front Yard

JeffS said...

If PETA does show up, Paco, you can try out that less-than-lethal shotgun ammo.

Deborah said...

Could you live with the sound of their babies starving. Save water. Let them fledged out. Then place deterrents. As for the rats.... isn't there a non lethal way to deal with them. Save ammo for criminals, and the range.