Every spring and summer, the swallows come and build their mud nests all over the place. I never paid them much attention in the past when I lived in various apartment complexes. I’d see their nests and the piles of bird poop, but it wasn’t any big deal. Now that I own my place, I have to pay attention to where the birds build a nest.
While it may not be common, swallows who build one of their mud nests over an exterior sprinkler head will sometimes causes those sprinklers to go off. Not only would that destroy their nest and kill the baby birds, it would also cause major problems for myself and potentially the other residence in my condo building.
My neighbor Alaska-K and I were talking about this very thing when I moved in and the need to make sure the swallows don’t build a nest on the fire sprinkler (I think there’s a code issue as well). So I make sure to check my patio where the sprinkler head is on a regular basis since I know these little birds can build a nest in no time.
One pair of swallows built a nest up under a ledge of my condo, but because they weren’t harming anything, I left them alone. However, they decided to tell some of their swallow friends, “Yo! This dude has a cool place. Someone should come over and build a nest on his exterior fire suppression sprinkler.” So, a couple of swallows decided to do just that. Every day for a week, the swallows would build the base of their nest. Every morning, I’d knock it down and then hose down the area to clean up the last of the mud from the sprinkler and the wall.
Needless to say, the swallows weren’t to happy with me. By day three, they brought all their friends over and chirped angrily. Well, I can understand them being upset, but it is time for them to move on for both our good. By day four, I wondered how long this little war between myself and the swallows would keep up. Since they were angrily chirping again and flying all around, I decided that maybe they’d get the message if I played a little “Duck Hunt,” using my water hose nozzle instead of a game controller gun. That proved pretty entertaining, especially when they’d fly right into the line of fire. However, I needed to get some sleep so I didn’t play with the birds for very long.
Day six came and sure enough, the swallows had started another nest. I performed my usual nest removal procedure and made plans to erect something that would prevent the swallows from reaching the sprinkler, but would not interfere with the sprinkler in case of fire. Day seven came and I was amazed at what I found — no new nest attempt. A week later, still no new nest attempts. I won.
I’m still going to have to look into getting something to be a barrier to swallows trying to access the sprinkler head. I remember seeing something using chicken wire (or the like) when I was house hunting but I’ll see what options are available.
This little episode is another one of those little things that a home owner has to deal with. *chuckle* However, I’m more than happy to deal with it if it means I own my own place. ^_^