The Doc likes to cook—I think I’ve mentioned that before. He has all kinds of pots, pans, and odd gadgets he uses, and an entire drawer full of knives. Long ones, short ones, you name it. He was all excited about a week or so ago when he got them sharpened. I know, what does this have to do with the birds? Be patient.

I’ve gotten a number of responses to my last post—about being attacked by the birds with the nest in the big hedge in MY yard. I wanted to share them with all of you, and mentioned my need for a couple of hands to the Doc while he was working on dinner last evening.

“Sure, no problem. As soon as I finish prepping.”

‘Prepping’ is not an activity I’ve ever undertaken and I’m not completely certain what it means but it seems to involve a lot of chopping. With those knives I told you about. Anyway, I said thanks and went back to my day bed in the living room. Sometimes when he’s prepping there are things on the board I’m interested in, like meat, and I’ll hang around to see if he’ll give me a taste, which he usually does if I hang around long enough. This was not one of those times.

“Just vegetables, you don’t like vegetables.”

He was right so off I went. A few minutes later I heard a yelp followed by some unrepeatable language, (I was going to repeat it, since it seemed like all other language to me, but the Doc advised against it). I trotted into the kitchen to see what had happened and found the Doc squeezing the little finger of his left hand. Apparently he’d managed to slice the tip of it off with one of those recently sharpened knives.

Mom heard the ruckus, too, and when she saw what had happened had a few unrepeatable words of her own to add to the conversation. She got some medicine and some band-aids and they managed to get the finger wrapped up and the bleeding controlled. End of crisis.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to help you with that up-load tonight,” he said when things had calmed down. I really didn’t see the problem. It was just the tip of his little finger, but I figured I’d let him be pitiful, at least for one day.

This morning I told him we needed to get back to work. All winter with his various illnesses and busy work schedule I got put on hold. The finger, annoying as it probably is, and even more annoying because it’s on his guitar hand, which he made a big point of explaining to me, was not a good enough reason to put me off even longer. So, here is some of the feedback and advice I got about the birds.

Dear Kaya,

So sorry to hear about your bird problems. You didn’t mention, though, how big these birds are. I mean, if they have a nest in a hedge, in your back yard, in the city, my guess is they are not very big. You can probably just ignore them, or stay under one of the trees out there where they can’t get at you.

Out here, where I live, in Montana, we have some really big birds called eagles. These birds are scary, let me tell you. I saw one pick up a big, fat rabbit and carry it back to its nest once. Fortunately its nest was way up in a tree far from my house. I think if an eagle built a nest in my back yard I’d have to move. From what I can tell from watching the animal channel, though, they don’t tend to do that. Thank goodness.

Anyway, back to your problem. Those little city birds probably can’t hurt you, and besides, in a few weeks when the babies are old enough, they will fly away and your problem will be over. Hope this helps.


Dear Kaya,

My name is Nora, and I’m a cat. I know you don’t think very highly of us as a species, which is your loss. We are complicated, interesting and intelligent. I read your column despite the enmity so I can know what you and your friends are thinking.

I would love to have your bird problem. Birds are to me what squirrels, and probably cats, are to you—my favorite things to catch. Even more than mice and rats. And I’m quite good at it.

For the right price, and a guarantee of safe passage, I could solve your bird problem in about an hour. If you are interested please post it here and we can work on the details.



O.K. So the cat seems smart and I admit I had to look up that word ‘enmity’, but asking a cat for help?

Hey Kaya,

I’m Rusty, a full-blooded Springer spaniel—an honest-to-goodness bird dog. Me and Jingles, she’s a setter, we live on a farm. Our folks like to hunt. Specifically, they like to hunt birds. Ducks, pheasant, quail, whatever. Jingles and me go hunting with them all the time. They shoot the birds, we fetch ‘em. It’s a ton of fun.

We’ve never gone hunting in the city, in someone’s back yard, and you never mentioned what kind of birds you have over there, but I figure a bird is a bird and maybe I can talk my folks into going over to your place and fixing things.

Of course, if the Doc’s into hunting you could ask him to do it himself. But I figure if he was you’d a done that by now. Anyway, good luck and let me know.


There are many others, but I think you get the idea. Either try to ignore them until they go away, hide in the bushes, or employ some form of violence. I discussed these options with the Doc, who told me he had a BB gun, and that when he saw the birds harassing me he bought new air cartridges and a box of BB’s. “Already on it, kiddo.”

I don’t think he really wanted to shoot the birds, but it was kind of nice, in a way, that he’d think about it for my sake. I asked him to hold off for another day or two to see how things went. He seemed relieved.

The next morning I went out to the yard as usual. I looked around and saw the birds on the wires above the hedge. I expected them to dive on me and got ready to run for it, but instead they just sat there. I did my business, then laid down on the grass—actually fake grass because I killed all the real grass after the first few months living here—and waited. Nothing happened.

I don’t know what had changed but for some reason they’d decided I wasn’t a problem. They don’t know how lucky they were to come to that conclusion.


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