Bird Song and Battles Round Two-What Would You Do?
A bird is building a nest in my green house. Here we go again! Last Spring I battled a moma robin building a nest on my back porch light. If my shades are up, I can see through one of the house windows into my 4 x 6 foot green house outside. This morning I saw a small bird in one of my potted plants that I’ve overwintered in the green house. This was a pot of various herbs: thyme, lemon balm, oregano, sage. I like to keep a few extras in case the herbs outside don’t make it through the winter. I saw this little bird in the potted herbs and it looked like she was picking at something. I thought it was just a sweet moment of nature that I could observe outside my window. The green house door has been left open because we have had unseasonably warm overnight temperatures (50’s). This afternoon I went out to the green house and noticed a bunch of debris in the potted herbs and a small depression in the dirt. Then it hit me! That sweet bird was building a nest in my herbs!
I started to pull out the collection of twigs and dried grass and hesitated. How cool would it be to have a bird nest in the green house and watch the miracle of nature unfold at eye level. I put back the debris.
On the other hand, I’d have to leave the green house door open at least a little so mama bird could come and go. If temperatures dropped or we had a storm or hard frost (it’s early March), I’d want to close the door, hmmmm. Or, I could shut the green house door to keep her out and risk the green house overheating. The sun is strong enough this time of year that on a mild day the temperature in the green house can get over 100 degrees. If it’s that hot, the automatic vent on top would open and the bird could come in that way, hmmmm.
I partially closed the greenhouse door and went into the house for my camera. When I came back 10 seconds later, mama bird was in the greenhouse and trying to get as far away from me as she could. Maybe she had been in there the whole time. I looked down at a gorgeous crop of lettuce growing in the in-ground bed under the open shelf in the greenhouse.
If I let this bird make herself at home I could have bird poop on my beautiful lettuce and anything else in the greenhouse. It’s just a fact that there is a dirty side of nature.
I’m torn between the opportunity to have a close encounter with baby birds (and let’s face it, an awesome photo opp) and my long nurtured crop of lettuce. Some of this lettuce was transplanted into the greenhouse on November 5th, 2015! I could cover the lettuce with the plastic I use in the winter as an extra layer but, again, it might cause overheating. I decided to pick some of the lettuce (1.3 lbs-that’s a lot)
and then cover it for now (we are in a cloudy, rainy period). In the end I decided to remove the herb pot from the green house and leave the door open (I certainly didn’t want to trap her in there) and cover the lettuce for now. These are hardy herbs that should survive, even in a frost. If we get a hard freeze, I could move them to a microclimate or back into the green house. It’s a compromise. Mama bird can build a nest in the herbs, she just can’t be in the greenhouse. What would you do?