April 27, 2012

Creature Comforts

I woke up on Wednesday morning to the sound of tiny feet pitter-pattering near my bed.  It sound like it was coming from inside of our heating vent.  So of course, I immediately pictured this (except less cute and more rabid):

A mouse in my house?!?!  I might be an animal lover, and I do think mice are pretty cute, but I don’t like the thought of my house being infested by any kind of creature.  We’ve never had any rodent problems before, thank goodness, so I figured it was just a stray mouse that had somehow gotten into our vents.  I wasn’t too concerned until I realized that a mouse could cause damage to our heating vents.  But then I did some Googling, and read other stories involving mouse droppings and their terrible odor when the heating or air conditioning is turned on and that’s when I started to freak out!  We bought a mouse trap right away (a no kill trap of course, we got the Victor Live Catch release trap from Home Depot, which doesn’t kill or use painful glue).  But a few days later, we still hadn’t caught anything.

This morning I heard some movement in the vent and was listening closely to it when I heard some chirping.  At first I thought it was just some birds outside, but then I realized they were coming from the same place as the “mouse.”  Then it dawned on me, there is no mouse in the vent!  A family of birds has taken up residence in our dryer vent which is right below our bedroom window.

I went outside and sure enough, there was plenty of bird “evidence” around the vent. 

And this also explained why our sliding glass door, which is directly under the vent, has been “marked” by birds as well.

After a little while, I finally spotted the culprits when I saw a couple of these birds nearby.  They are pretty cool looking with purplish-greenish iridescent looking feathers.

Luckily, I just bought a bird watching book at a garage sale last weekend!  This excited me for two reasons, first, because it meant I could use the book and secondly because I could prove my husband wrong for saying I’d never use that book!  (See, aren’t the illustrations cool, that’s why I bought the book in the first place.)

Sure enough, the book had just the bird I was looking for.  It’s a starling.  I did some more Googling and confirmed that starlings like to make nests in strange places, including dryer vents. 

See the resemblance?


At this point, we’re just going to have to wait for the baby birds to leave and then remove the nest once it’s gone.  I guess we’re going to have to avoid using the dryer in the meanwhile.  After they’re gone, there’s a netting that can be installed on the vent to make sure no other creatures make a home there in the future.

Any other tips for what to do when birds settle into your vents?  Have you had any brushes with nature inside your own home?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad it wasn't a mouse, that book was a good find!