bird poop

Home Selling, Bird Poop and Crows in Land Park

Black-crows-land-park.300x200I’d like to talk about selling homes and bird poop. I don’t mean selling bird houses, I mean selling homes in Sacramento where birds poop all over the grounds and decks. Especially on balconies. It’s so gross to be throwing open the French doors to buyers, announcing the gorgeous view of the golf course and hills, and then you happen to glance at the floor of the balcony to discover not just splatterings of bird poop droppings but huge piles of guano. Guano. Black and white and sticky and ishy.

This is not the way to sell a luxury home. You can’t just sweep your guano into a corner of the balcony and hope it will disintegrate or the rains will wash it away. Eventually, you’ll have to shovel it into a trash bag and hope the bottom doesn’t fall out as you drag it out to the trash. I’ve met sellers who have done precisely this, so I am not making this up. After you remove the bird droppings, it takes a brush and an almost industrial soapy cleaning liquid to clean the stain, and the stain might never go away.

The best way to keep birds away from your home is not to attract them in the first place. Some people affix rows of what look like upside-down nails to window sills and overhangs. You can also buy noise machines, imitation bird calls of prey, wind socks, or just turn on the water and spray them off. Don’t leave out food for them, either.

I am presently doing battle with black crows. For years, they hung out across the street in my Land Park neighborhood, and rarely came into my yard. But now, one of them has discovered our back-yard water fountain for the finches. We get house finches and gold finches this time of year. They sit on the rim of the water fountain to sip water. If they can’t all fit on the rim, they take turns waiting on the telephone wire overhead or in our crepe myrtle. The fluttering action is like bird TV to our 3 cats, who watch from the bedroom window, completely mesmerized.

They especially like to visit our lawn for an early morning breakfast after the sprinklers go off. The crows pull worms the length of my arm out of the lawn. One of the crows has taken a fancy to dipping his half-eaten worms into the water to rinse it off.?Yeah, worms are covered in grass and dirt, buddy, get over it. So finicky. Sometimes, he uses the water dish as a place to store his secret treasures. I found a 2-inch chunk of chicken from a burrito. I know it was from a burrito because the wrapper was on the ground. With it was a mushroom or maybe 2 worms intertwined; I couldn’t bear to touch any of it, so I looked away and scooped it out of the fountain water, flinging it with a digging trowel. Soon as I refill the fountain with fresh water, the crow comes back. He’s mad, too.

So, he flies up on our roof and starts pecking at the vent pipe cover from our stove’s exhaust. Peck, peck, peck, he is slowing chipping off the brown paint. I wonder where my sling shot is. My mother used to shoot BBs at squirrels. I am becoming more like her every day. That will teach me about flinging his treasures from my water fountain. I can hear him smirking up there. You don’t cross a crow. They don’t forget. They are smart.

I don’t forget, either. I remember incidences from years ago from which one day justice is served. But I also would not dream of showing my prospective home to buyers with bird poop all over the place. You shouldn’t, either.


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