Sunday, May 08, 2005
What is it with me and Pigeons?
For as long as I remember, throughout the course of my married life, there have been pigeons nesting in or around our house.
My first encounter was at an apartment we rented in PJ. For some reason, a mother pigeon decided that the best place for her to build her nest was on top of our air conditioner unit. While she was building her nest, I tried my hardest to shoo her away. I think the neighbours who occupied the balcony facing mine thought I was one crazy lady. [My neighbours happened to be a bunch of students who were at home a lot during the day. I bet I provided some comic relief to them while they were studying.] At least once every morning they would hear this Malay lady, in her nightgown, possibly unwashed and uncombed screaming "Shooohhhhh shoooohhh shoooooh" to the pigeon at her balcony.
I knew they were watching me and possibly even laughing at me as they would look up from their books and stare intently at me. I try not to stare back and quickly pop my head in again. And a few minutes later, I would tap on the sliding door, hoping to frighten the pigeon away again. Only to find out a month later, the mother pigeon was nesting there, and there were a few young squabs in her nest chirping noisily asking for food. I didn't have the heart to chase the pigeons away anymore, except when they get too noisy or I was feeling somewhat irritated by their chirping, then I will harass them a little bit. The parents will fly away for a short while and then come back again.
Until one day, just as I was about to move out of the apartment, we found a dead bird on the balcony floor. I am not one who likes animals. I can eat them just fine but don't ask me to look after them or pat and pamper or clean after animals. I can't. I stand stand the furry moving things. So I can't even think of removing the dead bird carcass. Thank god we had a part time cleaning lady whom we called once a month, and she cleaned out the whole nest and all. And we soon moved out of that apartment.
My pigeon woes started again in Singapore. For some reason, of all the possible places the pigeon could make its nest, it chose the top of my air-conditioner unit again. I tried harassing the mother. I think it worked because although it built its nest there, she didn't lay any eggs there. Unless she laid them there, they hatched and all of them flew away not long after. All that was left behind were some feathers.
While in UK luckily we had a nice sized garden. I loved seeing the birds come and sing in the garden and thus had bought a small bird feeder house. Unfortunately, my old arch enemy - pigeons, not the other smaller more beautiful birds that came to eat the seeds I had left out. And the squirrels too, well the squirrels helped to chase the pigeons away.
Now here, I noticed that a bird is constantly perched at the window of my bathroom. I tried to tap on the window, hoping to frighten it off, only to find out that it always returned. Lo and behold, another pigeons nest. The third one in my life.
Perhaps its my karma? While I was writing this, I remembered once upon a time when I was working as an administrator of a school. One of my staff was complaining that there were too many pigeons on the school grounds, making life difficult for them. They hinted that the pigeon poo could be dangerous for the school children and I should call pest control to get rid of the pigeon problem. So I called pest control, and they told me that there are no real ways of deterring the pigeons from making the school their home. Except by curbing their population. How does one do this? By feeding them with poisoned green beans. The pest control guy gave me a bag of poisoned green beans to feed the birds and Ipassed on the beans to be fed to the birds. And some of them did die.
But what was I to do? I was merely doing my job. Can't have bird feaces raining down on the students during assembly or while they were walking along the corridor can I?
I don't know if its good luck or bad luck to have pigeons making a nest in your house. But it does seem that the pigeons keep coming back to haunt me.