Friday, May 29, 2009

Nailed That Sapsucker!

I've lived in my house for about 23 years and have never been plagued with crows until this year. They're everywhere and they are huge (about 24 inches tall). Some are nesting in a forty foot palm tree over my driveway. What a mess. White spots all over the concrete, disgusting loads dropped on my car, and my drive is littered with sticks. That's right, dozens of twigs and branches about ten to fourteen inches in length and about the diameter of my little finger. That, I presume, is their nest-building material. A few days ago, an afternoon breeze kicked up and a large, feather-ridden pile of twigs, paper, and pieces of cloth blew out of the tree onto my driveway. What a mess.

Early every morning we are awakened by, what sounds like someone running or jumping on our roof. That seems to be their favorite gathering spot. Sometimes it is just loud tapping like someone knocking at the door. One afternoon I heard this continuous banging on the roof. I went out to see one of them beating the snot out of a large orange that he had in his beak. They're tearing up my shake roof. Constantly pecking and banging and pulling; I'm finding pieces of shingles laying all around my house.

For weeks now, I go out early in the morning or come home in the afternoon and there they are just sitting there looking at me. It's like an eerie scene from Alfred Hitchcock's movie, The Birds.

I look at them, I point at them, I flail my arms and shout and clap my hands, and they sit there and look at me.

So I bought a pellet gun (it's illegal to fire a .22 in the city limits and, besides, there may be some bird worshippers in the neighborhood who'll call the animal cops). It's a high velocity (1000 feet per second) rifle with a scope. I figured it would be like picking off toy ducks in a shooting gallery. I was wrong. I heard recently that birds have a memory span of about 15 minutes. I don't believe it. The first time I walked out the door armed with my new pellet gun, they all took off. It's like they know stuff. So, for several days, they gather around to deliberately bug me; I load my pellet gun and walk out, and they take off "cawing" their warnings all over the neighborhood.

But today was different. I heard them on the roof. I loaded and quietly tiptoed out. Hiding behind a large bush, I caught sight of one sitting on a powerline over my property. I raised the rifle, sighted him in my scope and squeezed the trigger. Bang; I nailed that sapsucker. He dropped thirty feet to the ground like a rock. The rest of them scattered but I got one and he is already some stray cat's dinner.

After I win the war with the crows, I'm going after the ground squirrels.


Ron Livesay said...

Don't you know those crows have rights? You are only a human, and humans are the problem, not the poor crows. You need to attend a PETA meeting and "embrace the confluence" while learning to be a bit more touchy-feely about those poor birds and squirrels you are persecuting.

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

I know birds have rights and I DO have feelings. I feel that the bird had the right to fly away before I plugged him.

My wife is mad at me for posting this. She thinks someone is going to report me and I'll be put in jail. Or she's worried that some of her Christian friends won't like her anymore because I shot a bird. She says some of her friends think it is unchristian to kill a spider.

The way I look at it is, if God didn't intend for us to shoot birds, he wouldn't have invented bird shot.

Eddie Eddings said...

Hey Ralph (use Art Carney voice here)
Here is a letter to you sent to me by mistake.It is from Dewey Loomis, president of the C.R.O.W.S. organization. (Christians Riled Over Wounding or Shooting):

Dear Murderer,
Crows are people too y'know! I know crows get a bad rap in movies and TV, but to resort to murder is not gentlemanly. Have you ever considered a Scarecrow? I, as president of my own organization of eight members, ask you to stop the madness! As we get older we all develop "crows feet" do we not? I subscribe to the philosophy that men and winged creatures of the air are brothers in arms. Every time I find a dead bird, I bury it and drop to my knees ala Captain Kirk and look up into the sky and yell, "NOOOOOOOoooooooooo!" It part of my ceremony...though, it's nothing to crow about.
Let this serve as a warning.
Dewey Loomis

Ralph M. Petersen-Always Right; Sometimes Wrong! said...

Hey Eddie,

Dewey Loomis has a daughter that uses a similar ritual (dropping to her knees, looking to the sky, and screaming) to mourn the death of trees and rocks. It's a hoot. You can observe it here:

Jayson Finley in Lacos said...

A scarecrow? Now that WOULD be non-touchy-feely. You might give a poor crow a heart attack.

Daisy said...

Ralph, you rock! LOL. I would LOVE to have a go at that.

Problem all solved. Everything works fine in Foxfire. Weird.

Ellery said...

Ralph, you are a man among boys. I am jealous of your steady arm and patience. Be careful of the squirrels though, during the last week of school one of the little buck teethed monsters dug a hole under one of the teachers at my school. Recess duty ended with a workmen's comp form.

Anonymous said...

Genesis 1: 21: And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22: And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.........................................................................................................................
26: And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Ralph, Did you ever wonder why, when birds eat seed and other substance that is either brown, or some dark substance, those deposits on your car and driveway are always white ? Your car is fairly light colored, but my bright RED car shows every one of their attempts at sending a message. We used to keep an "undocumented dog" on a chain in our back yard. No license, and no HMO medical plan. We shot birds for sport, and the methods of sending gophers and moles to their just reward was absolutely archaic. We snared fish, and ate them....None of that "catch & release stuff."

But, alas, you'd better be careful. Kathy may be right. The "bird" people are watching for the likes of you and me. Incidentally,. have you ever put the word "DOMINION" in your list of meanings ? Gotta go and hug my dog.