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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A weaver bird has begun making a nest on a thin branch of hibiscus that is unfortunately directly over the swimming pool. Two years ago the male bird built a nest on a palm frond and we watched in fascination as he weaved his intricate home for his family. When we heard the baby birds cheeping we waited expectantly for them to emerge. The timing couldn't have been worse as the first one appeared while I was busy cooking the evening meal. It ventured out and then fell directly into the swimming pool. I rushed out to fish it out of the water and brought it inside to dry it and keep it warm, at the same time fending off three very interested cats and two fascinated dogs. When the fledgling was suitably dry I placed it as close as I could to the nest and it began hopping about as its mother flapped worriedly in the tree above. It then hopped right back into the pool again. Rushing out, I rescued it once more and herded the cats and dogs back inside and tried to keep an eye on the stove. Whilst this was going on, a second bird flew the nest and also ended up in the water. Chaos reigned as a third baby bird dropped into the pool. I had birds wrapped in towels, burning food, dogs and cats trying to get out of the door, and mother and father birds chirping their distress.
I attempted to make a barrier round the pool to stop the babies hopping into the water, but they didn't get the message and hopped right over the barrier and into the pool. It was now beginning to get dark. After one last try I had to leave the family to fend for themselves. Alas, in the morning there were three pitiful corpses in the pool.

I immediately cut down all the palm fronds to prevent a re-occurrence. But Mr Weaver Bird has now chosen the hibicus for his new home. Do I cut down the nest after all his hard work before Mrs Weaver bird lays her eggs, or hope that she rejects it (as the females are prone to do)? Or perhaps I should construct a makeshift net to catch any falling fledglings?

This could be a case for Leon Chameleon PI.
 

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From a Darwinian viewpoint, if you allow eggs to be laid and hatched there, and then take steps to prevent the chicks' unfortunate drowning deaths, you would be helping to propagate the father's genes to future generations. So I'd say that if you feel you must do something, then act now to prevent it, rather than waiting until the next brood is conceived and hatched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
scarlet said:
question? why didn't you cut the branch after the first set of drownings?
I did cut the branch of the palm immediately after the drownings, but the bird has now chosen the hibiscus and I need a long ladder to cut off those branches, which I do not have. There has not been much activity lately, so I'm hoping the female has rejected the nest and the male will build another one elsewhere ::).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nature herself has solved the problem. The monkeys have been and the nest is now no more. The monkeys have raided several nests in the garden, and have even pulled apart a baby hadedah. While they were here they also ate most of the flowers from the creeper that I had lovingly trained over the carport. They are quite fearless and sit nose to nose with the dog through the glass door (dog is not impressed). They are fun to watch, but one has to keep the windows and doors closed as they not only steal fruit, but have been known to make off with cellphones, and even a friend's diabetes test kit  :eek:.
 

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I'm so sorry about the birds. Your thread is really interesting to read, though. The exotic plants and animals sound wonderful.

Last year the snow damaged some cypresses in my backyard. I called a tree service to trim some branches that were bending to the ground. While I was waiting for them to show up (they didn't give me a specific date), I noticed a pair of cardinals building a nest in a branch the tree service planned to cut.

The birds were just starting at build at 7:00 in the morning. When I looked again at 10:00, to my horror they'd almost finished the nest. I tore the nest down, feeling like a monster, and felt even worse when the cardinals kept coming back to stare at the empty place where the nest had been. It looked like they might start all over there, so I hung a sheet over the branch and hoped they found another place in time for the female to lay her eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
HAGrant said:
I'm so sorry about the birds. Your thread is really interesting to read, though. The exotic plants and animals sound wonderful.

Last year the snow damaged some cypresses in my backyard. I called a tree service to trim some branches that were bending to the ground. While I was waiting for them to show up (they didn't give me a specific date), I noticed a pair of cardinals building a nest in a branch the tree service planned to cut.

The birds were just starting at build at 7:00 in the morning. When I looked again at 10:00, to my horror they'd almost finished the nest. I tore the nest down, feeling like a monster, and felt even worse when the cardinals kept coming back to stare at the empty place where the nest had been. It looked like they might start all over there, so I hung a sheet over the branch and hoped they found another place in time for the female to lay her eggs.
One never knows whether to tamper with nature or not. There are many heated arguments in our newspapers about feeding the monkeys. We have encroached on their natural habitat and they are now invading our gardens and can be quite destructive. Some people put food out for them, and others want to shoot them. My neighbour was tired of them coming into the house and waited with a catapult and a bag of jellybaby sweets. The monkeys simply caught the sweets and ate them ;D. I tried the hosepipe to discourage them bounding on the roof and breaking the roof tiles and they cleverly ran into the tree above me so I ended up getting drenched myself ::)
 

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Jan Hurst-Nicholson said:
One never knows whether to tamper with nature or not. There are many heated arguments in our newspapers about feeding the monkeys. We have encroached on their natural habitat and they are now invading our gardens and can be quite destructive. Some people put food out for them, and others want to shoot them. My neighbour was tired of them coming into the house and waited with a catapult and a bag of jellybaby sweets. The monkeys simply caught the sweets and ate them ;D. I tried the hosepipe to discourage them bounding on the roof and breaking the roof tiles and they cleverly ran into the tree above me so I ended up getting drenched myself ::)
LOL! I can just see the monkeys. How big are they?

When I was a child, my mother liked to feed songbirds and squirrels in our huge backyard. She would pour seeds and peanuts on the ground. She didn't like the crows that invariably flew in because sometimes they would attack the other birds. One day I saw a pair of crows in the yard and began shouting at them and clapping my hands. The crows disappeared. I thought I'd frightened them off. A minute after I stopped shouting, one crow strolled around from behind a bush where he'd been hiding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
HAGrant said:
LOL! I can just see the monkeys. How big are they?

When I was a child, my mother liked to feed songbirds and squirrels in our huge backyard. She would pour seeds and peanuts on the ground. She didn't like the crows that invariably flew in because sometimes they would attack the other birds. One day I saw a pair of crows in the yard and began shouting at them and clapping my hands. The crows disappeared. I thought I'd frightened them off. A minute after I stopped shouting, one crow strolled around from behind a bush where he'd been hiding.
They are vervet monkeys. Not huge, but strong enough to kill small dogs if they are cornered. (I'd paste a pic if I knew how :p). There is one way of chasing them off that is guaranteed to work every time - point a camera at them! They are so human in their behaviour, and it's lovely to watch the mothers and their babies. The young monkeys tumble about and play just like children.

We also have a problem with Mynah birds and Doves eating all the seed and not leaving anything for the smaller birds. Someone had the clever idea of hanging an old parrot cage in the garden and putting the seed inside. The small birds can fly in and out, but the larger birds can't :).
 

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Jan Hurst-Nicholson said:
One never knows whether to tamper with nature or not. There are many heated arguments in our newspapers about feeding the monkeys. We have encroached on their natural habitat and they are now invading our gardens and can be quite destructive. Some people put food out for them, and others want to shoot them. My neighbour was tired of them coming into the house and waited with a catapult and a bag of jellybaby sweets. The monkeys simply caught the sweets and ate them ;D. I tried the hosepipe to discourage them bounding on the roof and breaking the roof tiles and they cleverly ran into the tree above me so I ended up getting drenched myself ::)
I've experience of monkeys from some time I spent in Zimbabwe, and feeding them is a really bad idea. They quickly get to think it is their right, and then become aggressive any time that they're not offered food. And by aggressive, I mean biting, little [expletive deleted]s.
 

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What a fascinating thread. It's interesting how we humans choose which species is "fun" and want to feed them, while others are "nuisance" when they take advantage of the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tony Richards said:
I've experience of monkeys from some time I spent in Zimbabwe, and feeding them is a really bad idea. They quickly get to think it is their right, and then become aggressive any time that they're not offered food. And by aggressive, I mean biting, little [expletive deleted]s.
I agree. I've never put food out for them, but you can't do much about them eating the mangoes from the tree (which they are welcome to). I'm also expecting them to steal the bananas and the paw paws (papayas) as soon as they ripen (which they are not welcome to :mad: ) They not only steal the bird seed from the feeder, but they also rip it apart to get at the seed, so I've had to stop putting seed out.

When the troop arrive they come swarming across the road and I have to admit to hiding in the back garden for fear of seeing one of them run over. One has been knocked down outside our house, but fortunately I didn't see it. Someone phoned the monkey hotline and the people came to pick up the injured monkey. I think it lost its baby :'(, but was eventually repatriated with its troop :).
 
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