Schlueterville has an unwelcome visitor that roosts in our covered back porch. Its calling card is a horrifying pool of guano splattered under the iron chandelier — a gift we discover each morning as we pass by the window on the way to the coffee pot.
“Haha!” the guano taunts. “Here I am again! You’ll never catch Mystery Marauder!”
Whatever is leaving the mess must be sizable, stealthy, nocturnal and at least partially feathered.
“It’s either goose, pigeon or a freaking gargoyle,” Hunka grumps said before dragging out the hose. “From the size of that mess, it could be a moose with digestive problems.”
Maybe it’s a moose wearing a feather boa. (This is the kind of junk we think about since ditching cable.)
Attempts to catch the culprit have proven futile. All is clear when we head to bed, and the Schlueterville setters promise to keep an eye out for anything amiss. (News flash: Schlueterville setters fib.) The next morning, voila! The patio is festooned with scattered feathers and colossal heaps of goo.
Word, chirp, hoot or honk seems to be spreading throughout the animal kingdom about our cozy, sheltered refuge.
Last summer, we returned from vacation to find a big-eared, pug-nosed bat nestled in the crook of our patio roof. We named him Hector. He pooped a lot, too.
Hector was allowed to hang around as long as he ate mosquitoes and stayed out of my hair.
He wasn’t the Brad Pitt of bats, but we grew rather fond of the little bugger. He did his thing. We did ours. Mosquitoes were terrified. All was well with the world.
We even installed a bona fide bat house, but he wasn’t interested in making a move. Then one day he flew off to find warmer climates and a meatier buffet. So long, Hector.
Squirrels are a different sort of cat. Hunka hates them with a passion, engineering elaborate gizmos to keep them from wrecking backyard bird feeders and gorging on seeds.
Hunka moves the pole this way. Squirrels jump from the fence. He moves it that way, they sail from the roof. He installs baffles on the feeders. They shinny up anyway, like acrobatic circus performers. He sics the setters on them, only to watch the prey charge up a maple and sarcastically shake their tails.
Squirrels back stroke in the dog dish. Squirrels eat fist-sized holes in window screens and the garage door.
Squirrels drive Hunka batty.
In a fit of rage, Hunka yanked up every pole and stored every feeder. Take that, you little (insert salty language here).
The birds are out of luck, which brings me back to our current intruder.
Perhaps Mystery Marauder is protesting the removal of bird feeders from the Schlueterville backyard.
This is the year of the protest, it seems, and piles of dung make a definite statement.
Maybe Hector the bat landed in a Texas barn loft somewhere, and told resident pigeons they should check out a particular bed and breakfast in Hastings, Nebraska.
“It’s comfortable and free of charge,” he’d say. “Plus, the humans and dogs are too busy chasing squirrels to pose a threat.”
Perhaps a featherbrained goose took a wrong turn while migrating, and needed a place to rest.
Heck, maybe there really is a gastro-challenged moose on the loose, taking a tour of the best places to squat in Hastings.
Then there’s the gargoyle theory, which is creepy and costing me sleep.
We are fully aware that this dirty dilemma is a first world problem. There are far more pressing issues at hand.
But we’ll be happy when Mystery Marauder packs up his crap and moves on down the line.
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Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.
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Contact Info: 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD (www.pigeonpatrol.ca)