This is an open letter to the Robin family who became the avian equivalent of DPs, or displaced persons, this morning. Please understand that I really like birds, and believe me when I say I am neither happy, nor proud, that I evicted Buddy’s brethren. I am sorry that my slate “Welcome” sign seemed to invite you to become permanent residents here, and that you mistakenly thought my coach lamp was something special, made for your needs and move-in ready. You built your nest in record time, but sadly, now that home is gone. I suppose you and your kin shall hold me in the same esteem that you did the last time I tore down a nest at the side door. Yup, Dad sat on the cyclone fence and chattered angrily and loudly while I dismantled the nest. And, yes, for two or three years after that, every morning when I watered my flowers, and picked a few weeds, or re-arranged the mulch, you went right out, while I was still there, and pecked pieces of mulch out of the garden and threw it over the rubber edging and onto the lawn. I appreciated that. Thank you. Yes, I know it was under the guise of “looking for worms” that you just grabbed the mulch and picked it out of my garden. Every time I went outside, you stalked me and gave me an evil look. But that nest dismantling was not an isolated incident. How many nests did I need to tear down on the front and side coach lights, eh? A dozen perhaps? And, I had to put bags stuffed with styrofoam peanuts and a pinwheel on the bend of each coach light to deter any more settling in. Finally, we both moved on and I threw the contraptions away and figured you and your kinfolk relocated to another neighborhood. Well, evidently you have a short memory because once again this morning what did I find? A large nest in my front coach lamp. And yes, I am guilty of evicting you on the spot, no eviction notice even tendered – out on your fractious feathered butt! I hope we have now reached an understanding. You will see that I had to put a large puffed-up bag in the coach lamp’s elbow in the front yard to deter a return visit. Lookin’ good in the neighborhood now! I do, however, have to admire your tenacity in building this remarkably made nest in record time. I went out to check the mail at 3:00 p.m. yesterday and there was no mail. The rains and storms began around 4:00 p.m. This morning I went outside to walk at 7:30 a.m. I thought I’d check the mailbox to see if mail arrived after the last check. There were huge spots of dried mud on the lid. In the dried mud spots were large pieces of grass, weeds and tangled up dried vines. The front door had similar mud spots and splats up and down the glass and dripping from the cross-buck portion of the white metal door. Of course I looked upward. I saw a fully-formed nest, about one foot in diameter, resting solidly on the elbow of the coach lamp. Yes, I knew it was a Robin, since I’ve obviously seen your calling card before. Yes, it was duly noted that two of you were watching me as I left on my walk, and again 3 ½ miles later, when I returned and rounded the corner, you were taking more nest fixin’s … perhaps you were adding on another room? I can’t deal with any of this and I am sorry. You were messy and it will not be tolerated. While I am angry with you, and you with me, I still marvel at how you modeled this durable home for your mate to lay eggs and sit up there. The mud that “glued” the nest together had not even dried yet. The nest lifted out with a small rake, was intact, and it was large and fully formed, anticipating the big event. Mercifully, there were no eggs in the nest. If I could have, I would have taken it somewhere else for you. I apologize for leaving the whole nest sitting in the dustpan momentarily in the driveway while I collected my thoughts on what to do next – I did not mean to taunt you. You looked at me with anger and hurt in your eyes. I felt somewhat humiliated and still do; I am not a mean-spirited person and the last thing I would ever do is harm a living creature. That is why I put your handiwork into a white plastic bag and took it to the end of the street to the alley.
Please don’t hate me – I feel badly enough.