By Jim Schneegold
I was sitting on my front porch reading the morning paper when I noticed that the birds decided to build this year’s nest above my light fixture just under the awning. One year, they tried to use my mailbox to build their nest.
Every day for a week I had to remove twigs off my letters. Last year they made their home under my second-floor gutter. I'm used to this yearly ritual, but I had no idea that this season would be quite different.
I admit my total knowledge of birds consists of the fact that they have wings, they fly, and they're very good at doing their duty on my car whenever the mood hits them (and unfortunately they get in that mood quite a lot). Otherwise, I'm pretty clueless about their habits.
However, this summer the birds made it extremely clear they don't like me or my habits. I was once again sitting on my porch when one bird started dive-bombing me; I'm not exaggerating — dive-bombing. There I sat thinking, "I have no intentions of harming your babies; just let me read the darn paper."
No sooner did I look up in the neighbor's tree when this winged pest looked me right in the eye, flew off the tree and played chicken with me as it was heading straight for my head with no intentions of losing this game. I wasn't sure what this bird was trying to do. I must say I was a little intimidated until it decided to make its flyby. Then the bird did some hopping like a rabbit on my lawn right in front of me as if it were waiting to have a chat.
I simply ignored it and continued reading. All of a sudden there was continuous dive-bombing through my front porch; I’m not talking around my porch — I mean through it. The wind from its flyovers was becoming ridiculous so I had no choice but to get out of there.
A few days later I took my chair and moved it to the driveway. That didn't stop the bird from making its paces past me while wondering what my intentions were that day. As the bird stood on my front lawn doing its best Bugs Bunny impression, I began to witness it strut out of my eyesight, then quickly fly into the nest on this covert operation.
It continued to stock its beak with worms, do its little dance in the area I couldn't see, and then fly into the porch nest. After about 15 minutes of this move I decided to put my chair back on the front porch. Not good!
In a flash, all the birds within a 50-yard radius went from DEFCON5 to DEFCON1 and decided to make their military-style ambush of protecting the nest and getting me out of that area. I don't think Alfred Hitchcock ever witnessed that many birds in one setting.
I am not exaggerating when I say at least 20 birds came out of the trees and headed to the porch, three heading to the lawn in front of the porch, and, worse yet, two heading right for my head. I ran through my side door to get out of danger.
A part of me was frightened while a part of me admired their commitment. I knew I was dealing with the one robin but I had no idea that anyone near that nest was in trouble.
Being the naïve person I was around wildlife, and while reluctantly secluded in my house, I went online and looked up what I had experienced. And guess what I saw? The same damn bird staring at me again.
Jim Schneegold, of Cheektowaga, just wants to read his newspaper in peace.