6 Swallows Remind Me About Grace Under Pressure

I wish the ‘six swallows’ bit was some Gabriel Garcia Marquez-like bit of magical-realism, but this really is about half a dozen birds that derailed my Monday.

Every Spring a family of swallows builds its nest on our front porch. It used to be kind of charming hearing their song and watching them dart about. Charming, until one swooped into the house when I stepped out. Birdie zoomed up our high-ceiling entry and planted itself on an unreachable ledge by an unreachable window trying to get out. I called animal control figuring they could help. Not so much. They just said leave the door open and it would eventually fly out.  Instead, 5 more flew in.

Cute when he's way up there.

Cute when he’s way up there.

Then I called Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center who provided critical, additional detail. You need to cover all the other sources of external light so the flock realizes This Is the Way Out. Luckily neighbor Kevin was home with his happy-to-help attitude and 8’ ladder. Long story short, the birds did leave, but I lost my day hauling a ladder around to tape up sheets, undo sheets and clean bird poop.

The day was not without its universal lessons, however:

  • Listen to your gut.  I was always a little leery of how close the swallows were to the door, but too ‘busy’ to be proactive and prevent them from building a nest this year.
  • Don’t be shy about asking for help. Even though the experts weren’t necessarily as helpful as I would’ve hoped, it set me far enough on the path that I could figure it out.
  • Sometimes the best resource just may be whoever is available. (Especially if they have the right attitude and tools for the job.)
  • In the thick of frustration and mess, remind yourself that this too shall pass.

Happily, the babies have left the nest.

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