Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Don't Go Into the Garage!

Okay--our garage never looked like the ones you see on TV--neatly arranged tools that hang over a tidy workbench, a pristine floor, onto which no oil has ever dripped, swept clean of all dust. Nope. Our garage is full of stuff--some ours, some others'. We have the usual bicycles, lawn mowers, snow blowers, and garden tools, but we also have hundreds of pounds of birdseed, deer food, discarded furniture from various dorm rooms, an old refrigerator now dedicated to holding soda, and unopened boxes from my mother's last move, our kids' last moves, and probably other people's moves, too. Can't be sure.

But it's not all the "stuff" that is keeping us out of the garage. We have a squatter living in there!

Shocking, I know. But we've had squatters before. For a while there were wild cats that we (blush) fed and almost tamed before some neighbor called animal control to capture them. We have had a few squirrels and raccoons come in looking for birdseed. We even had a coyote take shelter there once. (Since then we have been more careful about keeping the garage door closed.)

But apparently we have not been careful enough. This spring our squatter got in somehow anyway, and she--yes, it's a female--isn't about to leave. And if we try to go into the garage, she will attack!

We could probably take her, but we're concerned about her offspring. They are very young and undoubtedly impressionable, and clearly still in need of their mother. And it's not really their fault that they are trespassing.

Our squatter, you see, is a bird of undetermined species, and her offspring are three tiny chicks. The nest is on a shelf at the top of our tool rack--right by the inside door of our garage. She flew into the garage and spent many days there earlier this spring. I guess she liked it. And why not? It's where we keep our birdseed. When it came time to build her nest, she built it there--despite our efforts to keep the outer garage door closed to wildlife.

Now we keep the outer door open all the time--day in and day out--for the bird to come and go at will. We have adapted, though. We now use the front door instead of going through the garage to get into the house. We now store soda in the kitchen. But if one of our kids needs something they remember using in their last dorm room--well, they had better wear a helmet. That garage is bird country!

The mama bird is not always on her nest, though. Once, while she was out foraging, we were able to get this photo of three baby bird bottoms. They're so tiny! We, and our indoor cats, enjoy hearing their cute, birdy chirps from the other side of the door. But mama has made it clear--beyond that point it is strictly DO NOT DISTURB!

I just hope the raccoons and the coyote are smart enough to leave them alone.


  1. The babies have fledged, and it is once again safe to go into the garage . . . but we miss them!