Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bird brains

We've had quite a few interesting animal visitors to our house in Suchitoto, but nothing quite as strange as the latest. When I came back from time in the U.S. earlier this week, I noticed that poop (of a bird or bat or small animal) was appearing regularly on one side of our hand-washing sink.

Our hand-washing sink is out in the patio, but it's covered by an open high roof to give us protection during the rainy season. Naturally I looked up, but saw nowhere where a bird or bat could be perching. The poop kept appearing, each time in exactly the same corner of the sink.

I began to listen for suspicious sounds, and heard some high-pitched whistles and notes that're familiar to me from the San Salvador airport and the capital, but new in Suchitoto. And then, hearing some noise from the patio, I looked out and discovered a female Great-Tailed Grackle perched on the side of the sink (the photo above is not mine, but it does look like our new friend).

Now who would imagine that a bird would choose a pooping place, and choose one where the resultant mess could easily go down the drain? That may not be her motivation, of course: I can't quite imagine what her motivation may be, but I know that this bird is eating all too well - possibly eating the nance berries that are falling in great quantities right now - and producing extravagant amounts of grackle-poop.

The next question was how we might change this behavior (cleaning bird poop out of your sink repeatedly is not fun). I thought I had a brilliant idea, and put a mosquito net over the sink. Woke up this morning to find a very messed-up mosquito net, some of the mess falling through to the sink. Alas.

Any other good ideas?

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