It is that time of the year wherein my garden is no longer mine. It has been taken over by the birds who are busy building their nests in every quiet, cosy corner they can find.
I cannot pick flowers anymore because the anxious chirps of the birds nesting in the trees make it clear that trespassers are not welcome. The pomegranate tree now belongs to the doves who have reoccupied the nests they built last year after a little refurbishing.
No more pomegranates for me this summer because the birds always get to them as soon as they ripen, leaving just the hollow kernels hanging on the branches.
The maynahs always build their nest in the jasmine plant climbing on our gazebo. These birds are aggressive. They look for the shiniest paper they can find to decorate their home; and they use their strong beaks to pluck out the metal wires from the fly nets on my garden doors.
When they first settled in this space, they objected strongly to us using the gazebo. But over the years, we have become friends and now they just ignore me while they are busy building their nest, feeding their babies or teaching them to fly.
The babies are also used to being fed out of my hands. If I am late for feeding time they remind me by tapping on the door with their beaks.
The Moroccan lamps in our patio are popular with some lazy birds who prefer a prefab home.
Last year a bird laid her eggs on a pair of gardening gloves lying on a window sill. This year I found a beautifully woven nest hanging from a decoration strung across our front door. We are using the back door till the mother and babies leave.
The prize for the craziest, most unusual nesting place goes to a sparrow who found a way to get inside the bonnet of my car and built her nest among the electrical cables. When the mechanics opened the bonnet, they found three little sparrows in the nest. Kudos to the service staff for bringing the nest and babies back home safely in a cardboard box.
As soon as the mother bird heard the distressed cries, she turned up and took charge. Despite the anxiety she must have endured, yesterday I noticed some twigs on the bonnet of my car and when I opened it, there it was again – a nest with three eggs!
- The reader is a resident of Dubai