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A Sunday Morning with the Kiesels

By Anita Kiesel

I awaken early and head for the kitchen.  My plans are to fix a delicious gourmet breakfast for me and my husband Hank.  We will dine leisurely, enjoy the Sunday paper and watch our many feathered friends as they visit the two bird feeders  we have in our yard.  It’s lovely entertainment.

My husband Hank wanders into the kitchen, walks to the window for a closer look at the birds.  He says, “Oh look, our first robin!  Spring is on its way!”  We both note that the robin seems extremely happy as it munches on a juicy worm.  We are happy.  Everything is right with the world.  We sit down for breakfast.  And then the drama begins.

We hear an ominous sound and realize immediately that a bird has flown into one of the sun room windows.  We both jump up from the table and rush to the sun room.  We are so relieved to see a dazed robin perched on the window ledge.  It seems to be okay so the two of us return to the breakfast table.  And then we hear the same ominous sound repeated.

And so we rush to the sun room again and realize that our poor dazed robin is confused and tried to fly away but hit the window again.  We know that there is little we can do other than let the robin recover on its own.  Its wings seem to be intact so there should be no reason why it can’t fly away or at least make it to the lilac tree or one of the large evergreen trees and spend some time recovering.

We finish the now cold gourmet breakfast.  I begin cleaning the dishes.  I hear my husband saying, “Shoo, shoo, shoo!”  He comes into the kitchen and says, “I think the crash into the window has our robin really confused.  He has hit the window at least three more times – that’s why I was shooing him.”

Hank heads for the office at the front of the house and I get comfortable with my book in the sun room reclining chair.  I look out the window and there sits the robin – checking me out.  I pay little attention to him until he starts flying into the window again and again.  I call for Hank.  The two of us decide that the robin is trying to get into the house and make a nest in the artificial tree standing in the corner of the room.  We lug the tree out of the room.  Just to be safe we remove the artificial fern that sits on a table near the window.  The robin watches as we rearrange the room.  And when we are finished – it starts all over again.  That darned bird is bouncing up from the window ledge to the window and each time it hits the window, it leaves a mark on the window….and it poops on the window ledge.

Obviously removing the tree and the plant did not solve the problem.  As Hank and I deliberate what to do next the robin keeps hopping from the ledge to the window.   We now know that we are dealing with a dysfunctional robin.

Our attitude towards this bird has changed considerably.  “Shooing” the bird does nothing.  That darned bird actually believes that he has a perfect right to sit on our ledge, hit at the window, poop on our ledge.  We can only assume that the robin can see his reflection in the window and has fallen in love with itself.

Hank goes into the garage, gathers up the handles to all the mops and using suction cups hangers, hangs the handles from the windows.  The robin perches on one of the handles and jumps to the top section of the window.  Hank goes into the garage, gathers up our lawn rakes and places a rake on each window. This does not deter the bird.  All six of the windows in the sun room now have marks on them.  The bird is hitting the window about every minute.  It does take a break about every 20 minutes and we believe it’s to regain strength or sharpen his beak.

Suddenly there is a loud clap and Hank is shouting – “Get away from my windows, you dumb bird!”  The robin jumps even higher and hits the upper window, leaving a mark.

During the day Hank does research on the web, he visits Wild Birds Unlimited, he calls the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.  These sources are more concerned about the health of the bird than they are about our windows.  Our windows are a mess – and the bird keeps hopping and pecking and pooping.

Each time we pass the sun room window we yell at the bird.  We are now very close to obscenities!

Twilight arrives at last and the robin finally goes somewhere for a night’s rest.  The next morning it is back again – hitting and pecking on the window.  If Hank had a gun I am sure that he would give that crazy robin a dose of lead poisoning.

Hank is not a patient man.  I hear water running and see Hank just outside the sun room windows.  He has removed the poles hanging from the windows and put the rakes back in the garage.  He is scrubbing the window ledges. He has washed the windows. He is putting up the window screens.  He has computer discs hanging from the lilac tree and the evergreens.   He has a deflated balloon hanging from the sun room door. Everything is waving in the breeze.

His attempts at getting rid of the robin seem to have worked. Peace and quietness return  but nighttime is here.  The robin is resting somewhere.  Could it be that it has found a lover in someone else’s window?  What will tomorrow bring?

It is good to learn something from each experience and we now believe that we understand what the term “bird brain” means.

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