Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Nest

Saturday evening, George coated cod fillets in seasoning and prepared them to grill. When he went outside to preheat the gas grill, he opened it and yelled,

"What the --!!!"

I hopped up from the kitchen table where I was reading a medieval murder mystery and dashed out the door, only to dissolve into laughter when I saw the problem.

George had grilled the previous weekend and hadn't replaced the grill cover, so sometime last week, a pair of starlings built this very impressive nest.

We had, in fact, noticed the starlings on the deck all week (they are noisy birds, after all), but we never saw them with nesting material in their beaks and had no idea they saw our gas grill as the perfect shelter for raising babies.

Our first instinct was to move the nest into a large bucket, trying to damage it as little as possible, in the rather ridiculous hope the birds would still use it. But the nest collapsed when I carefully picked it up, and all that was left to do was dump the whole thing in the woods. I cleaned out the grill, and George made dinner as planned.

The birds were, understandably, very upset. They kept coming back stare at the grill cover and cheep angrily at it. In the last day or two, their visits have gradually become fewer and farther between as their bird brains accept the loss of the nest, but I still feel bad for them.

Not so bad, however, that I'd change what we did. Starlings are not endangered, and my aunt assures me they build several nests a year. Little wonder, given how fast they built this big nest! It's hardly hurting the species, even if this particular pair may be distressed. And if they were silly enough to nest in a grill, perhaps their particular genes shouldn't be passed down anyway.

Besides, the fish tacos really were quite delicious.


  1. Great story, Susan. Thanks for sharing! Been there, done that, by the

  2. LOL. They are pesky birds indeed and noisy as you pointed out! We have them a plenty here and I don't card for them as they are messy - i.e. poo all over the driveway etc. Sure they will find another place to nest. Cute story :)

  3. I spend every spring knocking down swallow nests off the house (hmmmm....haven't had to do it this spring. Either the swallows have moved on or they know something about the weather that we don't!)I have gotten "bombed" by upset males (as they are the ones who start the nest to entice the female) but I have no mercy!! Swallows are MESSY! Mud (and of course, it is the red clay mud that stains) POOP, noisy!! There are plenty of other surfaces they can build on besides my house!!

  4. We had a pair of very determined birds trying to build a nest between the L of our downspout on our porch and the house. Last spring we removed the nest at least four times. This year after the first time; I got smart. I blew up a beach ball and crammed it into that space. It may look a little funny; but it's working. : )


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!