Saturday, June 10, 2006

Bad Parents

I really try hard not to condemn other parents, but sometimes, there comes a point.

I submit the following:

Each of the past 2 summers that we've been here in rural Wisconsin, we've been neighbors to several migratory families. They are good and interesting neighbors, provide much entertainment as you peer at them, unobtrusively through the windows, sometimes reaching for binoculars. You get to know them by sight, and soon, you watch their kids grow. Come winter, they leave, because only fools hang around in Wisconsin for the winter.

In the barn, of course, are the barn swallows, who treat Charles as a god, following him on the mower as he exposes hidden bug-manna. I have no doubt that they have our (or at least his) back, should those thug deer try something more than just stamping and huffing at us. There are eastern bluebirds in the bird house to the West. We got to watch a minor turf war between them and another family this spring, but the current residents proved the tougher and seem very cool. There's a family of American goldfinch who think the seeds from my columbine are quite the haute cuisine, the parents, their 1 son and 4 daughters all jimmying the seeds from the pods yesterday morning. The cardinal who lives in the lane, who flies in front of the car windshield at least half the times you drive down the street. Throw in the woodpeckers, hawks (reason #52 why our kitty is NEVER, EVER going outside), hummingbirds, your usual robins and crows and starlings, the loud, lewd wild turkeys and pheasants, and all and it's quite the busy place.

Then you have the house finches. Each year, we've had house finches nest above our porch light. I'm terribly fond of them. They raise 2 broods and are nice, if neurotic, neighbors. They really don't like us using the front door during the spring and summer. We try to accommodate them, within reason.

This year, though, I think the parents are either teens, or completely dumb, incredibly unlucky, abusive or really, really need to take a course or 5 from Home Depot in how to build a structurally stable structure. One in which you can safely raise your offspring.

The first brood, about 2 months ago, were, one by one, somehow ejected from the nest, then the next day, the nest fell. I assumed some other bird was responsible and felt very sad. A month later, the whole nest fell, again, with all eggs lost. About two weeks ago, they rebuilt, and a week ago, I found another egg that had fallen to it's end. (picture below) Currently, the nest is still in place, although somewhat precariously so. They seemed to have abandoned it, but I saw them back today, along the roofline at the front, which is their usual pattern when having another go at it.
















Do you think that any infertile birds out there are bothered by this? Or maybe they are just on crack. I've named them Brittany and Kevin. Do you think it's time to call Child Protective Services or am I just too judgmental? Maybe if I offer to take an egg for a night or two each week to give them a spell and a chance to go to some counseling or take some parenting classes? Yes. That sounds right. I'll speak with them tomorrow, unless they're hung over. Unless that makes me an enabler? So difficult to know.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous christie said...

I will love you FOREVER for naming your crackhead bird parents Brit and Kev....

FOREVER

And I might even stalk you if I lived a couple thousand miles closer and had a little free time.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Christie- Oh, honey, you're tired; but you make me smile. I've this dream that some day, in the future, we might meet at a CME and end up blowing off lectures titled: Back pain: The Future, or Advances in Congestive Heart Failure for drinks in the hotel bar and food that is bad for us. Why must you live in AK? We have lots of PAs up here.

10:29 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Have I told you lately that I adore you? This is absolutely brilliant.

Think Darwinism has anything to do with it? Not spreading the genes of those less fortunate that have difficulties making sound architectural choices?

It's too bad that the eggs keep dropping. That can't be fun to have the kids see and I'm sure you're not thrilled to see it either.

1:33 AM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Well, maybe he parens have lost their jobs, they're under stress, and just can't take that loud teenage music any longer!!!

But...you are lucky to have such neat colourful birds to watch so close at hand...especially the bluebirds!

My cat brought in a downey woodpecker yesterday, let it go, it flew around in a panic, (so did I!), crapping on the stairs...(the bird, not me!) until finally, my husband got it in a washcloth in the washroom..he carried it, squawking to beat the band, to the "safety" (?? we have 2 cats!) of our backyard!!!

He then wiped up the birdshit on our stairs!!!

11:17 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Beth- Well, whether it's nature or nuture, these two are just not getting the job done. Fortunately, the kids haven't really noticed the debris. The dog has, thought.

MOI- Oh, poor bird! (I am very fond of Downy Woodpeckers.) What a marvelous husband to catch the guy AND clean up the mess. Guess he was scared shitless, eh?

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Leigh-Ann said...

My parents had a pair of robins set up shop on their front porch this year, in a flower pot of faux flowers which was mounted sideways on their front wall. I dunno, some avant garde piece of decorating or something, but instead of trying to built on top of the flower pot, the birds built on the inside edge of the pot. My mother gasped as she watched the nest lean closer and closer to the edge every day. She put blankets on the porch, just in case. When the babies hatched, she could see the nest actually teetering on the edge, rocking back and forth as the babies moves, and was sure it was going to send them all tumbling. In the end, all the babies survived, but my mother took down her odd, vertical flower pot -- she doesn't want to go through that again next year.

1:38 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

How abt wringing their little necks till they see the truth just bfr the blackout? Though it's probably a good thing that those two are not perpetuating their genes. I'd be heartbroken, poor birdies...

9:20 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Ooops, they did it again.

Oh my, you had me going. I thought it was going to be a rant about human parents.

12:18 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Maybe its better that the bird version of Brittney and Kevin don't have babies. This will hopefully stop the generational cycle of stupidity. Now if we could only get the human ones to stop.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Leigh-Ann- *gasp* Silly creatures! We have a robin's nest under the deck, but it's a solid structure, built on a horizontal beam. I love your mom putting down blankets to cushion the fall.

Johnny- If I weren't so fond of them, I'd consider it. I had this terrible dream last night where I found the female finch dead in the driveway.

Teri- Boy, you'd think they'd have figured out the link between 'oops' and the need for more maternity clothes. I'm such a bitch.

Stace- I think you are probably right. At least the avian Kevin and Brittany are not publicity hounds to boot.

8:16 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Ha! I adore you. I love birds and enjoy watching them. Not that we get a ton on the 26th floor but still, there's always that one or two daring flyboys who love to buzz our windows.

I think finches are my favorites as well, they're just cute and little and hoppy.

Hopefully Brit will realize that Kev's just not cut out to be good husband or father material and wing her way off to Vegas with that bird she's just friends with.

12:47 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Britney and Kevin: hahahaha - perfect!

12:48 PM  
Blogger amy said...

brilliant...absolutely brilliant!

I had a nest of satan's spawn (rabbits) in the dainthus around my tree in front of the house. my sister freaked out one night because she thought she got one of the wee ones with the weed wacker.

they choose the oddest places to nest, let me tell you.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dana- Aren't the finches, well, just plain adodrable? So finchy.

Listie- At least they had the sense to hook up with each other, or is that soon to be history and their evil, tacky ways will spread?

Amy-the-Great- We had a nest of bunnies decide that under the rhubarb was a good place to nest. Under the rhubarb in the yard of a nosy German Shepherd who wanted to play with all the baby bunnies, who scattered thither and yon. Sadly, one bunny didn't get found by mom and relocated to the far woods. We took it in and fed it for a month in our mud room, while the dog (Emma at that time) watched through the glass in the door. We released it by the woods where other bunnies live. It's probably the scurge of my parsley. Damn him.

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY!
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2:12 PM  

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