Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The Yellow Crowned Night Herons are back. "Cool," you might say. "Oh! Aren't they protected?" you might say. Or you might say, "Ohhhhh no no no. They cannot stay." That's what my neighbor and I are saying.
Protected, cool, maybe on a good day even beautiful. But a creature that you want nesting in the trees above your yard? No no no no. They are... shall we say... messy. My neighbor's yard last year smelled like a perpetual crawfish boil. Yep. Lovely! These birds eat crawfish, frogs, snakes... or well, they at least kill them, and swallow them, but... um... well... let's say they don't really CHEW. And I'll leave the rest to what I know are your vivid imaginations.
I was planting a few last things in my garden this evening when I heard this swooshing sound. Perplexed, I stood up and gazed upward. Oh. Oh! Four of them. Very wide wingspan. And then, they settled into the pecan tree directly above my beloved garden. I threw sticks in the air. I threw Greta's green ball up in the air. The herons were unphased. One was so relaxed that he, well... can you guess? Fortunately for me, it missed me. A few minutes later they moved over one tree, into the tree that they refused to leave last Spring.
I called my neighbor. "Neighbor! I have distressing news for you and I." She wasn't home but was equally distressed and instructed me to get pots and pans and to clank them loudly. "Does that actually work? I asked. "Well it scares everything else off," she replied. And so you know what I did when I got off the phone. But it didn't work.
Later my neighbor came home and called me. "I'm standing in your driveway." We went out, gazed upward, and yep, there they were. "Earlier," I said, "two of them looked like they were necking." She asked me if I had to work tomorrow. I do. She said tomorrow is the day. It's "the mission." We must find out what the herons do not like, and that's what we're doing. This could prove to be quite interesting... I am going to call DFW Wildlife tomorrow (remember Bird Man from a previous post? The humane removal of birds?) and also my local state agent for advice. I'll keep you posted.