It’s Not All Mary Poppins

A Rather Shitty Situation

The sweet little birdies nesting in our porch? The birdies whose cheeping greets the dawn, whose wee fluffy babies’ pink-puffy-heart cheeping fills the early morning air? The mommy and daddy birds whose industrious nurturing entertains and educates the tots on a daily basis? Those birds?

They have developed diarrhoea. Yes. Birdie trots. Shit on wings.

I step out my front door first thing in the morning, and the shittage – it’s astonishing. The chair (metal, thank God) is spattered with white and black. The rail behind said chair is encrusted with a solid layer, and the porch deck? The porch deck has been strafed. White splats, each with its lumpen black nucleus, dot the entire porch.

Something has to be done.

Back into the house, haul out a rarely-used bucket. While it fills with steaming hot soapy water, dig out the rubber gloves and cleaning rags. Which will be turfed immediately after use. This is no time for environmentally friendly reusing, nuh-uh, but paper towels sure won’t be up to this job.

Pick up the bucket and swing it out of the sink, only to be reminded why this particular vessel has been unused for so long. It’d be that inch-wide hole in the bottom. Yes. The tots scamper into the kitchen at my cry of dismay.

“Why is your dress all wet, Mary?”

Quick empty foundering bucket into the sink. Mop floor. Go upstairs. Change. Return to kitchen with new, hole-free bucket (aka the plastic garbage bin from the bathroom).

Out we all go to the porch, tots, bucket, rags, rubber gloves, and cordless phone. “I’m going to clean this bird poop up, guys. You play on that side, all right?” (This is a treat. My neighbours have to put up with a lot without surrendering their territory to the marauding tots, so I’ve taught the children that they’re never to go onto the other side. No problem keeping them there, then – forbidden fruit, and all that.)

Don the rubber gloves (which will also be turfed immediately after this vile task is over), commence to scrub. As my avian friends chirrup happily overhead. While I’m scrubbing, Darcy arrives in his dad’s bike trailer.

“Hey, Darcy!” George’s clear, high voice carries effortlessly across the street. “Hey, Darcy! Wanna come watch Mary clean up the bird poop?”

Darcy doesn’t hear over dad’s snort. “WHAT?”


This he hears. So do a couple of neighbours. Heads pop around porch railings. Ho, ho, ho. This is even better than the burning taco incident.

“Bird poop??? OH, YEAH!!!”

Do I know how to entertain the tots, or what?

A few minutes later, the task is complete. I throw now filthy water into the garden, toss rags and gloves into the bucket, herd the tots into the house, and reach for the cordless phone.

Which has a huge dollop of bird shit right on the earpiece.

Those sweet wee puffs of fluff just better get some feathers and flight lessons in pretty damned quick, because my clock, she’s ticking… Lucky for them that I am fundamentally incapable of harming a baby of any description. So far.

June 19, 2006 - Posted by | Darcy, eeewww, George


  1. I’ve been up twenty whole minutes, and you’ve had time to do all that AND blog about it? A better woman than I… or maybe you’re just in a different time zone. 🙂

    The birds come to do that on my patio table and chairs. They perch up there like they’re eating dinner and just let it rip. Drives me crazy.

    Comment by KEP | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  2. Ick. Somehow I don’t think this is going to be a daily activity Chez Mary P.

    Comment by Kristen | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  3. Better the phone than your hair?

    Comment by Tater and Tot | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  4. tater and tot beat me to it.

    I was just going to ask if any landed on your hair.

    It’s happened to me in downtown San Francisco. Not just a dainty little bird. It was either a pigeon or a gull. I think a gull.


    Comment by Granny | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  5. In Sunnyvale, CA we have a flock of parrots that are killing me with their swaking. I guess I keep them thought since I don’t want to clean up poop!

    Comment by Momma to Ashley | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  6. I once had a bird crap on me as I was on my way into a job interview…

    I headed straight to the washroom, and got it mostly out (of my nice black dry clean only suit jacket), but there was still a white smudge on the otherwise immaculate outfit. Sigh.

    Comment by Haley | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  7. well, I can sympathize, having had a family take up residence under our eaves by our deck one year. The really horrible thing, though, was that 6 baby birds never made it off our deck. I don’t know why they died, just that thye got out of the nest and obviously weren’t big enough to fly any distance. They all were found after a long weekend as dessicated little husks. Poor little critters. I am happy this was pre-Pumpkinpie. It would have been tough having to explain that.

    Comment by kittenpie | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  8. I have a pathological fear of birds (yes, even cute little ones!) so this post makes my skin crawl. Eeew.

    Must have shower.

    Comment by Susan | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  9. KEP: The wonders of a draft file and a fiddle-able time stamp! This was in fact written late last week, during nap time.

    Kristen: You think? With clients coming and going every day, I can’t leave it like that! I’ve done it every morning since that first time late last week, and I will continue to do it daily until the wretches either develop some bowel control (ha) or move out! Sigh.

    Tater and Tot: That’s for sure! Later that evening, when I took the phone out to our newly-cleaned porch to clean (having spent the day using the other one when required), my helpful neighbour came out with his little computer-cleaning air-gun, and, with the help of a toothpick, blasted the crap right out of it! I have such nice neighbours!

    Granny: Ick. Gulls are prolific producers. Eeew…

    Momma to Ashley: See, now if I were wandering around Sunnyvale and saw some parrots flying around a church, I would in my northern naivetee assume that they were native. California is sunny and warm, right? Why wouldn’t there be parrots?

    Haley: Stupid birds. Probably only you noticed the smudge, though! Did you get the job?

    Kittenpie: Last year the nest on my neighbour’s side of the porch had a similar event. One evening, as I was sitting out there reading, I saw one plummet. I heard a sudden cheeping, I caught the fluttering body out of the corner of my eye, and then – the absolute worst part – I heard the sickening splat as it hit the ground. It turned my stomach. Poor wee thing.

    Susan: Sorry about that! I thought maybe it was just seagull-specific, since those guys are large and bold.

    Comment by Mary P. | June 20, 2006 | Reply

  10. We had swallows make a nest in the lean-to…. directly over the space we park the jeep. I hung an umbrella upside-down under the nest to catch the guano. It worked pretty well.

    Comment by Homestead | June 20, 2006 | Reply

  11. Line the area in plastic? Sure, it won’t be pretty, but then you’ll avoid the shittage (I love the word) clean-up, right?

    Comment by Candace | June 20, 2006 | Reply

  12. Oh, Darcy’s dad is cute. That suuuuucks.

    Comment by Jenorama | June 21, 2006 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: