In which Shakespeare is not welcome in the rafters of the barn, dang it!

Hmmm.  What's this?
A nest? 

Embedded in the space between the vapor barrier and the barn roof?

Nasty starling!  I did not invite you to come live here!

It sounds crazy, but it turns out that those noisy, dirty, ugly, pesky European Starlings actually were invited to North America. 

Seems that in 1890 and 1891 a bunch of loonie-birds decided to bring all the birds mentioned in the plays and poetry of Shakespeare to America. 

Fortunately for us, most of the imported birds froze to death before re-writing the local ecology. 

Unfortunately for us, the starlings thrived, and continue to thrive.  From the original 100 birds introduced to New York's Central Park, a plague of starlings has grown that would do Moses proud.  The United States government endeavors to poison, shoot, or trap around 2 million starlings each year...leaving a population of nearly 200 million free to endanger air travel, mob cattle operations, chase off native songbirds, poop on city buildings...

...and, apparently, attempt to disembowel my barn roof.  More information about starlings here, although I admit that the website doesn't offer any hope of eradication in our lifetime. 

Fiddle has always attracted birds.  At the barn where she was boarded before moving to Haiku Farm, barn swallows would always nest in the roof above her stall.  Unfortunately for baby swallows, the parents would almost always build the nest right above the water bucket, which meant that every spring I would find drowned birds in the buckets.   Eeww.

Fiddle also kept company with Twelve in the early days of Twelve's escape attempts. 

I suppose it's no coincidence that the stupid bird decided to move into Fee's stall,  But still, yuck.  That nest has got to go!

I cut the vapor barrier apart with scissors to get to the nest.

This is what I pulled out of there:  the equivelent of 2 large flakes of hay, and almost an entire chicken's worth of feathers.  The nest didn't contain any starling feathers that I could see!

Martha Stewart doesn't lose sleep over me.  I mended the cut seam with duct tape.

Hey, at least the duct tape is the same color as the vapor barrier.  I could've used purple tape, you know.
Tucked back in, and all the "exits" sealed.
Now listen up, bird:  STAY AWAY! 


  1. i like the sound of a group of starlings (*ducks*)

    i have to tell you what i saw tonight!

    i went over to visit star island (i do visit from time to time) and a hot air balloon landed in the next field - the field with the other two bay horses in it. boy were those horses upset! (all 4) and i was too, i talked to the old man who lives there (not the endurance rider, he leases the land). he said this happens from time to time in the country. i said, "i'd call the police if they landed one in my field!" he said "that won't help." ok then.

    anyway the important thign was, ibn took off at a dead run and star island was right next to him, but in some sort of freaky cartoon, his legs were trotting. i couldn't believe my eyes. i kept staring at him waitiang for him to break into a run but he didn't, he just kept trotting and his legs were moving in a circular motion (sorry i cannot explain it) and as fast as his body was travelling across the landscape, his legs somehow kept moving in diagonal pairs. it was UNBELIEVABLE aarene i almost called you on the phone but i think you're at work now.

    i thought i'd seen a standie trot before but i was wrong. this must be what they do when they race. i couldn't believe my eyes!

    (oh and the old man kept saying to the horses, "ruhe, ruhe" meaning "calmly, calmly" but there was a freaking hot air balloon right there!)

  2. I hate those pesky birds! That's part of the reason I used OSB under my metal roof instead of the soft stuff. My resident owls are keeping the population down for now, though their poops are bigger than a cats! The house eaves/porch ceiling have been invaded, however, ever since we have been here. I agree: YUCK!

  3. Mozart kept a pet inspired several tunes. Konrad Lorenz kept them for behavioral studies and because they are able to accurately mimic human speech. Raise a nestling and gain a true partner for your barn...

  4. Anonymous: I'd rather have a barn cat....

    EvenSong: ...or an owl...

    lytha: ...or a duck...

  5. re: Star Island, whom I still think lytha should ride/buy, even though I know about her breed prejudices.

    The trot (or pace) is the working gait of a Sensible Horse, whereas the gallop is the blind refuge of the panic-stricken. In the case of the zombie apocolypse, Star Island will power trot to safety, and ibn...probably won't. I'm just saying.

    And BTW, that trot: it's amazing to ride. For miles and miles and miles.

  6. aarene, j and i had a good laugh this morning over your breed prejudice (*giggle*) and "das kluge pferd" you have - the sensible horse.

    also, i just learned how to say "i'm just sayin'" in german. "ich mein' ja nur."

  7. oh and when do we get to see pics of the interior of your barn?

  8. I have the feeling this will be an ongoing battle with one critter or another. I wish you luck.

  9. Isn't it amazing who all moves into a new "space"?! You end up with new neighbors - whether you want them or not! The Barn Swallows & I have a little "battle" each year, but we now manage to co-exist until those younsters are out of the nest!

  10. P.S. Joyce has some barn cats for free! :-)

  11. I'll trade you a plastic owl for your starlings. For reasons I will never know (don't see them much?) I love starlings.

    Of course, I had a robin sitting on top of the plastic owl this morning...birds are smart. If the owl doesn't move...

  12. But they eat potato bugs. And they're pretty.

    I'd rather have an overpopulation of Starlings than one potato bug, any day of the week. I know it's short-sighted and not eco-conscious of me, but there you have it.


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