Monday, 12 August 2013

What to do when a magpie flies into your house

I am trying to find what labels to put this experience under, but there aren't many words to describe it. Messy is one. Maybe I should create a 'messy' label heading.


What to do when a magpie flies into your house (or any other bird of significant size and nature). We have had pet magpies before, but the one that flew in today is not very bright and is 99% wild. My eldest Valley child has been feeding them and they will sit on her arm or feet as she hand feeds them burger mince. About two months ago the birds decided it would be quite a good idea to fly inside and look for her. At that time she was home and the back doors of the house were WIDE open like an invitation.

Last week and today they were not wide open, but just wide enough for our dog to get through. This results in absolute confusion. So what do you do when it happens? Here are some easy to follow steps.

1) Shut every curtain so that the bird does not bang into the glass and poo on the walls and windows as they get confused by why they can't get through this strange, strange barrier that clearly shows the outside world.

2) Do not chase the bird. Wait for it to settle. Less poo to clean up.

3) If you have a hallway door, shut that too (we do not, but it would be handy). If possible, confine the bird to the space nearest the open door. Limit the poo.

4) Lock up the dog so it doesn't scare the magpie and make it panic, which results in poo.

5) If children are around, have them watch the bird and close off all bedroom doors and rooms with carpeted areas. Poo is hard to get off the carpet (and annoying if you're renting and hard to explain to the landlord).

6) Pack away any open food, wedding dresses you're working on, open school books, diaries, fruit bowls, laundry baskets full of clean washing, etc that may get covered in poo, which is invariably black and gritty.

7) Now you may attempt to gently shoo the bird, or catch it quickly because its feet and bum spread poo. The bird will not land on the floor so don't worry about it pooing there. It will regardless as it flies along with all haste. Picture a Gatling gun. The bird however, will not run out of bullets.

8) If catching the bird in a bathroom with a big mirror, forget the mirror and thank the Lord for tiled areas. Approach the frightened and panting bird (that's why its mouth is open - it is not threatening you), ignore the poo in the shower, on top of the shower, in the bath and on the bench where it has been walking, pull up the sleeves of your new cardigan that you probably should take off and raise the old bed sheet in preparation to throw. Ignore all poo on top of the shower rail and wall where it sits and CATCH THE BLOODY BIRD!!!!

9) If you snare the bird by its foot, forget decorum. The magpie will not bite the hand that feeds it. Hold firmly but not tightly as this will alarm the bird and create more poo (it really does contain an endless supply). Bird shows and wildlife documentaries where the bird being captured is caught delicately around the wings to stop it from freaking out and flapping wildly are laden with false advertising. Hold onto the foot beneath the monstrous bed sheet and do not let go (notice how much less it weighs and how much smaller it appears after having first flown in). The magpie will remain calm as long as you're not strangling it. Talk to it gently about how much poo you must now clean up, about investments you will make in the Huggies' Wipes company, and about what a bad idea it was to fly into your house and how you hope it does not now expire because that would be hard to explain. Murmur gently under your breath about having words with your young animal loving child about feeding birds in the actual backyard. Walk to the nearest open door and open your hand. I guarantee you the bird will fly away. You won't have to do that David Attenborough aren't-I-being-kind-to-you-by whooshing-you-up-into-the-air-bird-release-thingy-move. No magpie that is exhausted from letting go a mountain-load of excrement wants that. It's pretence for both of you.

10) Clean up while it's wet. Like soggy Weet-Bix after a highchair breakfast, poo is easier to clean right away rather than an hour later.

11) Recapture your thoughts, tell children that all bird feeding is to occur far, FAR away from the back door, and make a note to self that the bird IS that dumb because she tried again after the first two times and still didn't learn.

12) After cleaning away all poo, release the dog, bring the food back out onto the kitchen bench, bring out the wedding dress you were working on, and clean black wing marks off the ceiling.

Calm will return.

That's what to do when a magpie flies into your house.

Oh, and one other thing... (I just remembered the poo in the bathtub)...

13) Don't leave the door open, not even for the dog. Retrain magpies to eat wild, or if they must eat from you, at a very safe distance from the backdoor.

PS~ How to tell a girl from a boy:
Boys are solid black and white,
Girls are mottled like this one & the one above.
I don't know if girls poo any more than boys.


No comments:

Post a Comment