Wednesday, May 12, 2010

And the pigeons won

I know what you're thinking: "Eew, gross, a post about pigeons? Thanks, I'll pass."

I would have felt the same. Before losing the battle with them.

Pigeons are like the vermin of the sky. Dirty city birds, associated with disease.

They have conquered my balcony.

When we first moved in three years ago into this lovely apartment in Jaipur, India, I tried really hard to banish them from our otherwise unused balcony. Scarecrow, barbed wire, the whole works. I even considered getting spikes shipped from the UK, where they have pigeon prevention down to a science.

They would make spine-tingling scratching noises on my air conditioner, like fingernails on a blackboard, on the other side of the wall, just above my head. They would try to perch along every possible and impossible window ledge. They would even enter our apartment as unwelcome guests, through a window or a door left casually ajar. When we would try to chase them out, they often flew into the glass panes of the windows.

The last time we went for an extended holiday, they took over our place. Apparently we had left a door unlocked, and it had been blown open by a gust of wind. My mother-in-law found them all over the place, managed to chase them out, and thankfully did the cleanup job. But she didn't have the heart to discard the two eggs in a nest on the balcony. She's Jain.

So we waited it out. It wasn't actually that much of a bother, except for our balcony getting covered by an ever-thickening layer of their excrement. I actually enjoyed peeking at them, inspecting their growth. At first, they were fuzzy and indistinguishable from any other cute chicks. It wasn't long before they took flight.

But now, they're back. I had discarded three nest attempts. I suppose the mother was just dying to get the eggs out, because it happened so suddenly and with so little support--just a few twigs, and the concave drain-covering as a base. I also found it difficult to chuck the eggs, so decided to leave them this time.

Who am I to get in the way of Mother Nature?

--Becky blogs at BeckyBlab.