Friday, May 16, 2008

If At First You Don't Succeed, You Could Be a Finch

On our recent camping trip to Lake Livingston State Park, my peaceful vacation was interrupted by trouble with squatters.

According to my husband, the recessed area behind my front license plate is for the transmission cooler, but an industrious Finch couple had determined that it was a nursery and vigorously stuffed it with sticks and leaves. Feeling like an ogre, I unstuffed it, only to find them re-stuffing as soon as I sat down.

Perhaps they were attracted to the love bug decor.

After the second time that I had scooped it all out, I filled it with Wal-Mart bags. I admit that I felt a bit smug at this point, thinking, "You can fly, but I can outthink you."

Alas, pride cometh before a fall.

An hour later I noticed one of the Finches disappearing through another opening where the tow rings come out. To my chagrin, I found that they could access the transmission cooler "nest" from there and that they knew something about recycling. They had worked with the Wal-Mart bags to make even faster progress. Once again, I scooped everything out, hoping that this time the would-be parents would take the hint and find a suitable nesting spot, preferably one without wheels.

I hoped in vain.

This was really getting stressful. I worried about Mama Finch, wondering how long she could "hold" her eggs while waiting on a place to lay them. I had no clue, but apparently my fear that she might explode was totally unfounded.

Thankfully Herb stepped in at this point and plugged the tow ring entrance and the front of the transmission cooler. It was a good thing that I didn't have to go anywhere! Herb's fix seemed to finally do the trick, and I gladly forgot about the birds.

The next morning Herb called me to the road and pointed at a camper across the street. "Remember those Finches?" he asked. I nodded. "They're building a nest in the exhaust fan of that camper."

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