Dratted Bird Houses!

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I love birds and appreciate their role in nature, and certainly would not change a thing in my life at the moment that would prevent me from waking up to their chirping outside my window each morning. They fill the trees outside in the garden and have also discovered my small fruit trees on my balcony, which Cherry, my bird hunter cat, is happy to watch each time. The birds have figured out that Cherry can’t climb the trees and is stuck behind the protective cat net, but every once in a while, a young fledgling makes the mistake of flying low to investigate some of the potted plants. Well, Cherry operates on the premise hunt, pounce, kill, repeat. She doesn’t eat them, just enjoys the thrill of the hunt.

If you remember my scaffolding series from 2018 and 2019, you will recall that when the renovation began, several nests had to be discarded. The environmental protection ministry was up in arms, put the work on hold for several months until all the breeding and hatching was over. I mean, this is the city where a mother duck and her ducklings or mamma wild boar and son get police escort to cross the road when they turn the wrong way and end up in IKEA instead of the river…

Anyway, back to the birds – so part of the deal with the environmental ministry was that after the building working was completed, the birds would have to be compensated (yes, this is Germany and we take the animals seriously, after all, dogs are tax payers) and birdhouses would have to be built into the sides of the building for them to nest in. I have to mention at this point that our building is located right along a protected area, so the animals’ rights are indeed protected. The first few nests were installed last year, and I dismissed that event as being the end of the long ordeal.

Much to my surprise, I woke up to the sound of several men talking loud outside in the courtyard in the broadest Berliner dialect, and when I peered out, I noticed none of them was observing the 1.5m social distancing … first black point of the day. OK, no problem, just shut all the windows tight to ignore the noise. I went about my morning rituals and came out of the shower, like everyone else does, in my birthday suit. Lo and behold, there were ropes dangling from the roof and two pairs of distinctly male legs also hanging, with the matching shouting voices, followed by drills and hammers. Damn! back to the bathroom it was to hastily grab the bathrobe.

Spring is here and the birds have a housing shortage apparently – hey, this is Berlin, of course there is a housing shortage! So the additional bird houses were installed, and now the chirping outside my window has magnified several decibels. Cherry no longer finds it as amusing.

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