Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Tackle That Grackle

Grackle- \'grak-ul\n-Any one of several large American blackbirds having glossy, iridescent black plumage. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary.

My definition would differ slightly-"A large, dumber than shit, black-winged menace that has turned my upstairs room into a nightly Hitchcock scene."

I opened the door to walk upstairs last night. I had a fishing rod to finish turning-it was midnight and I had cracked open a bottle of Bacardi Anejo Rum from Mexico and had to get this job finished before the rum kicked in. At the top of the stairs there is a chandelier, nothing fancy, just a hanging five-bulb fixture from Lowe's. As I got directly beneath it and started to turn the corner into the room, I heard a loud flapping noise and saw a black object come flying at me. It smashed its head into the light fixture so hard that it fell onto the stairs below me. I went back down the stairs to close the door to try and keep the bird in the room and away from the dogs and cats that awaited below. It would be easier to do battle with the bird myself rather than be "assisted" by two barking dogs and two curious, swatting cats. The slamming of the door stirred the bird back to life and it flew into the light again, banked off of it and flew straight into the glass window. It then settled onto the ceiling fan which luckily was turned off. I surveyed the room. There was birdshit on the bed covers and in the bathroom. There were white flakes all over the floor near the window from where this thing had repeatedly smashed into the plastic lampshade on the nightstand light. Instead of confronting the bird and spooking it into another frenzy of destruction, I opened the window and removed the screen, giving the bird an obvious escape route to the outdoors. I then retreated back down the stairs and closed the door. I would give the bastard a half-hour to find the window, then I would go back up, close the window and finish the rod.
It seems that an open window is obvious to every species except the common grackle. When I returned to the scene, I heard no flapping and saw no sign of the bird. Good-mission accomplished! Wrong. The son-of-a-bitch was inside the shower stall just sitting there. I opened the stall door and instead of flying out the gaping opening, it smashed its head four more times against the shower stall glass. I took a towel and swatted wildly at him, driving him towards the open window, which he continually missed, smashing into the wall, the window sill and the lampshade, which was now destroyed. I chased him around for about ten minutes until he got back into the bathroom hit the mirror head-on and fell between the sink and the wall, stunned by his last collision. I took the towel, grabbed him firmly, took him to the window and tossed him out. His wings started flapping and he finally took off just before hitting the ground.
This is about the fourth time this spring we have had to chase these birds from the house. They have nested in the bathroom fan vent for five years but have never made it into the house. I just thank God that they didn't traumatize Vin last weekend when she slept in that room. Dumbass birds!


Anonymous Vin said...

Can you imagine if that bird came in the middle of the night while I was sleeping off my 12 hour drinking binge. It would have been a scene from Hitchcock at its best...

7:41 AM  

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