Monday, December 03, 2007

Message by owl

I spent too much of the National Day weekend doing a chore that I've been putting off for too long. There is a decade's worth of pigeon poo all over the flat roof of the Falling Down Villa. I took a shovel, broom and a load of bin bags aloft and shovelled shit until I'd run out of empty bin bags. Getting the full bags to ground level resulted in some nasty rope burns. The polypropylene line was way too thin for a controlled descent. After lowering the bags to the ground with the tow rope out of the Goatmobile and much profanity (some of the bags burst, being Al Cheabo gossamer-thin), it looked as if I'd made hardly any progress at all in removing the guano.

Having shovelled for several hours, I fervently hope that the plague of pigeons may be over. I found some 'bird scarers' in the West Marine catalogue and asked Beloved Wife to arrange for a couple of them to be Shop 'n' Shipped from the good ol' US of A.

Pigeons are allegedly petrified of birds of prey, being both birds and prey. An oversized long-eared owl with yellow, staring eyes ought to put the willies up any self-respecting pigeon. It went up on to the roof last weekend, and is currently on top of the parapet. The message delivered by this particular owl should be clear and unequivocal. It involves pigeons, sex and travel. If they don't get the message, the pigeons are going to be subjected to the Lehrer Solution.

Detractors of scarecrows have observed that birds get used to a scarecrow, so the instruction booklet that came with the plastic bird of prey suggests moving the owl around periodically. Added to this, the head is on a rotating bearing, meaning that the slightest breeze has the owl apparently looking all around, impersonating Linda Blair, and therefore ought to be suitably scary.

There being no limit to the ingenuity of pigeon-haters, there's a different model as well, just in case the pigeons suss out that Linda Blair is in fact made of plastic. The latter consists of a plastic owl's head to be mounted on a stick (stick not supplied), and a four-foot wingspan. This owl flaps its wings in the breeze and also sports the obligatory scary stary eyes.

It remains to be seen how effective the owls are long-term. But I don't recall any evidence of pigeons at Hogwarts.


Keefieboy said...

Have you named the owl? I have a suggestion if you haven't.

Grumpy Goat said...

Linda Blair

TM said...

Huzzahs to our #1 guana shoveler! Hope it works. TM (il)

LawfullGoodOfCowplain said...

So Mr Goat, it appears that you are fit to shovel sh.. oh never mind.

I assume that air rifles are less than legal and the loan of a hawk from a friendly prince (any that dive?) isn't viable. May I suggest a gargoyle?


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