Monday, 14 May 2012

The final frontier


For I don't know how long, a pigeon has been trapped in the sealed-off fireplace behind our cooker in the kitchen, and occasionally flutters about as we can hear from the louvred vent half way up the wall.  It will take a week or two to die, and short of demolishing the wall, there is nothing we can do about it except pray for it's swift demise in as peaceful way as possible.

This has happened a couple of times in the past 35 or so years.  A dumb bird will sit on top of the chimney pot, look down it and wonder if it would make a good nesting place, so hops down to take a look.  That is the last hop it ever makes, and it finds itself sitting on top of at least three other corpses of birds which have made the same mistake.  I think it is a very slow Darwinian process, so maybe some good comes out of it.

In the past, when the pigeon finally dies, a nasty smell comes from the vent which lasts for a few days, then everything goes back to normal.  I did think of getting a bottle of Co2 and filling the chimney with it.  This would perform two functions - asphyxiating the bird and ending the process quicker, and ridding the space of oxygen so that it does not stink the place out afterwards.

It's a shame it is always the kitchen fireplace they choose for their suicide.

22 comments:

  1. That's just awful.

    I'm off to look at John's blog now for some fluffy bunnies and old ladies with cakes 'cause the pidgeon story is just upsetting.

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    1. Yes, John's tale is alot worse for a kitchen than mine.

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  3. what he actually got was a dose of bulldog grief and a story about a flatulent cat!

    The only bright kind of birds I have ever come across are geese...they actually LOOK as though they can actually think.......pidgeon are like turkeys
    thick as pig shit

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    1. That's only because geese are too big to go down a Georgian chimney. They used to fall down 17th century ones on a regular basis. Yum.

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  4. Well, this story is very close to my heart. We have open fireplaces in practically every room and birds are always falling down the chimneys and end up flying about in the room, crashing into the windows and, it's usually when we are out so, when we return it looks like there's been a massacre. The magpie was the worse as it kept going for my head ! After the magpie incident, we had the lounge chimney capped. When we returned from Amsterdam, a pigeon had fallen down the chimney and taken up residence in a bedroom for five days ! You can imagine the mess!Luckily we have bare floorboards everywhere. My husband was clearing up and found that there was another one stuck up the chimney ! He pulled it down and, to our suprise, they both flew off with no ill effects ! I am about to ring a man about chimney capping !

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    1. We had an owl down our chimney once, when I was a kid. My dad opened the stove, it flew out and smashed into his face, then left owl-prints all over the walls in soot.

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  5. A small flock of pigeons on strings would make good chimney sweeps. Just lower them down, and pull up again. Actually I could use some here!

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    1. Hawks are better - they clean up the pigeons at the same time.

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  6. Can't you put a screen over the opening?
    m.

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    1. I am constantly onto our landlord about the chimney stacks - capping the pots would be the answer, but we are currently going through a process of getting them to understand what else needs to be done, at the same time he pays a cowboy to do absolutely nothing.

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  7. We put caps to end the roosting and screens to end the the other possible mishap. After we had down the chimney.

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  8. We had starlings that used to fly down the coal stove at the other house. The cats thought it a great lark for us to try to let the bird go free. We couldn't find one for quite a while, and when we went to lay the new kitchen floor, we found it under the stove all the way in the back by the far wall. The cats thought it marvellous that we found one of their toys. Fortunately Himself is much better with these things than i am, and removed the carcase.

    At the new house, a few chipmunks found their way in. The cats were pleased with this indoor hunting arrangement. Me, not so much, but word on Chipmunk Street must have spread because they stay clear of the house now.

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    1. At least we don't have racoons in the attic - yet.

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    2. Or skunks in the kitchen...

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    3. Or cats pebble-dashing the muesli.

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  9. I hate it when that happens. We've put wire grids on the top of our chimneys now. It was horrible when you could hear the bird there and couldn't do a thing about it. A horrible drawn out death for them.

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    1. Actually, I think pigeons are quite well suited to sitting down and waiting for the inevitable. At least they don't spend weeks screaming, 'HELP!!!" like miners.

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