Mesh

Six little birds are taking my office window screen. One piece at a time.

I usually keep the blinds closed. While I’ve heard their pattering and pecking for about a week, I assumed they were dancing on the ledge doing… bird things.

I opened my blinds this morning to find big holes along the bottom of my screen. Busy birds. At first, I thought I needed to do something, go out there and scare them away. They can’t just tear up my screen. Screens are expensive.

I don’t open my office window, but what if I wanted to someday? If they keep at it, I’ll have no screen.

It is early evening. I am still watching them pull at the silvery fibers of my screen and fly the pieces away.

Is summer nest-making season? Because these little guys and girls are nonstop and so cute.

I’m not sure I have ever been this close to a bird, only a thin pane of glass separating us. Their necks are surprisingly flexible, and they are continually looking over their shoulders.

Maybe they know they’re doing something wrong. Taking something from me. Nah. Birds don’t bother themselves with possessions.

Perhaps they are looking over their shoulders because it is a tough business being a bird. Other bigger birds picking on them or I’m sure they have predators.

I don’t know a bird’s life, but I know I am not scaring them away. They can have my screen and I will watch in awe as they take it.

About a month ago, one of my courtyard cushions pecked up, and some stuffing was removed. Maybe these same six, but probably not.

We have bunches of birds.

I taped the hole up and while I don’t like looking at ducktape, nor am I excited to pay for a new cushion, I’ll survive.

Maybe they needed the stuffing. They didn’t take it all, only about a handful.

While the birds perch outside my window twisting their little necks and contemplating the next section of my screen to add to their somewhere-else collection, I’m struck by the give and take.

I love where I live. My home sits on the edge of wild and air conditioning.

We make a point to join the animals around us rather than shooing them away. Birds, deer and even cactus-eating javelina were here first. We built our home among them, and we respect that.

They enrich our lives, and until now, I’ve never thought about the cost.

Dozens of birds sing and chirp for me all day. Amid the quiet of my writing life, they are lovely company for me and Jack.

Surely there’s a cost for such a privilege. I guess it’s a little screen here and some cushion fuzz there.

I’m okay with that.

My thoughts from the laundry room. Early Bird.

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6 Replies to “Mesh”

  1. That bird (and nest) look like the various yellow Weaver birds we get in southern Africa. The nest building is part of their courtship ritual – the male does the building, watched with a critical eye by the female, and if she doesn’t like what he’s built she may trash it so he has to start again! Sometimes one female is being courted by more than one male and so the nest building is competitive. I have seen a frazzled looking young male overwhelmed with the stress of trying to produce a satisfactory nest for his lady-love!

  2. It’s so nice to see you and Nature co-existing peacefully. I think it’s the same with the deer and all my neighbors–the enjoyment of seeing them even though the garden is nibbled on as they stroll through. . . Life is filled with give-and-take moments 🙂

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