Kid: “Whatcha doin’ dad?”
Me: “Living the dream kiddo.”
Wife: “C’mon boys, dad’s playing with his birds.”
I walked out the front door on to the front porch this morning to take the trash out when I heard strange noise. Actually it’s the third time I’d heard the noise in the last three days. My first guess was it was some sort of rodent scurrying around, but not sure where. As I crossed the length of the porch I heard it again, it sounded like the gutter.
Was there a mouse in the gutter?
As I stepped onto the drive I heard a lot of chatter. Definitely the gutter. The garage gutter actually, not the porch gutter. That’s weird, I thought to myself. Whatever it was was in the gutter. And it was running back and forth, my eyes following the sounds. Two things in the gutter. Mice not mouse? Rats?
Would you look at those twigs sticking out from the gutter seam. Birds? Why would birds build a nest in a downspout? How did they get in there in the first place? So many thoughts went through my head in such a short period of time. Then I could hear them running to the far end of the gutter, and I figured they must know what they are doing. Sure enough two birds, pretty big ones actually, emerged from the gutter about three quarters of the way down, and flew off. On the plus side they showed me where the hole was, just as I suspected during their scurry along the gutter.
Well that’s no good. Our gutters are a closed system that leads to our water supply, so knowingly having animals inside the system going through the circle of life is not a viable option for this guy’s water quality.
So of course I spent an hour of my Wednesday morning taking the gutter apart to extract the nest, which fortunately was devoid of eggs. Carefully I stuck rags in the openings so my bird friends couldn’t sneak back in during my play time.
I then went and fixed two bird size holes in the system where the debris shield had flopped down. The shield friction-fits up into the roll over on the outside of the gutter. When the ice guards failed a couple years ago they not only damaged the gutters but also the shields, creating those gaps, unbeknownst to me. One gap was above the nest and another was about 20′ away.
Why, how, birds decided a downspout was a good spot to raise a family I’ll never understand. It certainly is an easy spot to defend. But wouldn’t the rain was it out, and clog my water system? In fact this afternoon we had a brief downpour of rain that surely would have wreaked havoc on the nest and any birds inside there.
Well regardless of why, the problem is fixed. I can only hope the rest of the birds stick to the free open accommodations we have on top of the dozen or so porch columns we have provided around the exterior of the house.
I tell you, there’s never a dull moment around here. Can’t wait to see what mother nature has up her sleeve for tomorrow.
This is the gap in the screen that the birds were able to get into, then they’d walk all the way down the gutter to the downspout.
The nest was in the top two feet of the downspout tube. Not sure what happens if there is a strong rain storm like there was the afternoon of the day I evicted the birds.
All the brown stuff was inside the downspout. About two feet of busy bird work all for naught.
This is where the birds are supposed to be making their nests, on top of these columns. You can see 3-4 nests in progress already this spring.
The gutter was damaged a couple years ago by an ice guard that gave way. The debris screen no longer fits into the gutter channel as well as it should. The roofer had tried to fix it with some sheet metal screws through the gutter into the screen.
I clamped the shield to the gutter so I could fasten the two together with a sheet metal screw.
The repaired gutter is still wavy from the ice damage but the screens are all in place.
The downspout all put back together