Sunday, April 30, 2006

Hatfields & McCoys

Last year, while the house was still being built, an industrious swallow couple built a nest in one corner of the back porch. They raised a small family and then moved on for the winter.

Now they're back, along with a new batch of spring flowers and the rest of the flock, but not all is well in avian suburbia. You see, another bird family has decided to try to build a nest of their own in the opposite corner of the porch.

I checked the zoning laws, and that whole ceiling is designated a residential area, so the second couple -- let's call them the McCoys -- have every right to build there. The lot's been subdivided and surveyed, so there oughtn't to be a problem. But the original pair -- we'll call them the Hatfields -- swear up and down that they have squatter's rights.

It's starting to get ugly there in the beautiful suburban village of "Under the Porch". This morning they were going at it for close to an hour, swooping and darting at each other, the Hatfileds singing out such hateful epithets as "Carpetbagging Finch Lovers!" and the McCoys angrily rebutting with "Feather-beaked Ex-Dinosaur!"

I needn't tell you those are fightin' words in Bird Country.

I'll keep an eye on them, and let you know who wins. So far there's not much of a nest going up in the new Plan 2 area of the porch, but I don't think those McCoys have any quit in 'em.

Just to be safe, I think I'll keep the shotgun locked up. It pays to be prudent when property rights get in dispute.


Denise said...

The animal world is a vicious, vicious place. I loved watching hummingbirds until a friend, who works with injured birds, told me they're really fighting when I think they're frolicking. And these little critters fight to the death. Sweet little birds chirping in the trees my foot!!! Let us know what happens in the land down under!

John Hebert said...

Actually, if you use the shotgun, you win and get a pretty good meal to boot.