In The Tree Tops

I love the apartment I’m renting here in Santo Domingo. It’s big, bright and wide open. There are no screens on the windows and the back porch is completely open, with only barred windows and a gate for a door. I had joked to friends that every morning I wake up up I’m just shocked to the core the place isn’t full of pigeon or bugs. Twice now  have been roused awake by a cat fight. Inside the apartment. I’m on the top floor.

There is a spiral staircase to serve as an emergency exit just off the back porch. I leave it all open because my cat has his litter box in the back room and in order to close the area off, I would have to close the kitchen door and bring the littler box to the kitchen.That’s not going to happen.

Also off the back porch is a huge beautiful coconut tree. Of course, that are as common as pine trees in Alberta. I am endlessly fascinated with my tree. Yes, I call it mine. Besides coconuts, there are two huge nests in the tree. One on top of the other. There is constant activity in this tree, birds coming and going, making noise. A few months ago a pair of pigeons highjacked the bottom tier to lay eggs. This did seem to bother the rightful owners, but they just started removing the twigs from the pigeon side and moving it to the top.

I was actually able to watch the pigeons feeding, grow up and eventually leave. A few days after they left, there was a massive commotion from the birds and I came out to look in time to see someone on the roof of the house next door with a large hook on a pole to knock down the coconuts. The owner of the house was down in the yard gathering them, occasionally taking a machete to one to open it and drink the milk.

The birds completely freaked out. I sort of did, too. I feel like I have a connection to them, I watch them every day and they watch me. Just last week a Redheaded Woodpecker tried to highjack the top level nest and they were not having any of it! I’ve never seen so much dive-bombing, chasing, squawking and posturing in my life! If was fabulous! Like Live Bird TV! The Woodpeckers are very loud and have tried to come back several times, but they are not going to win this.

Yesterday, I was on my way to the washroom and I was gobsmacked to see an actual bird in my spare bedroom! Right there, staring at me. Bold as Brass! I don’t know what the birds are, I guess I should, as I spend a lot of time watching them. They are tiny and brown, like Wrens or Starlings and I believe there are more than one species living in there. Anyhow, I jumped back, I mean who wouldn’t, right? I was two seconds away from standing on a chair and gathering my skirts, screaming, ala Laura Petrie when he flew up, and then perched himself on the picture frame.

I went to close the door to just ignore it all and then he casually flew out the window. This morning one came to the back porch gate and was enough to wake my cat from a sound sleep on the couch and send him in a speed-crouch to see what the what!

I don’t know what they want. I don;t want them in here. On closer inspection in the bedroom, I notice  bird poop on the bed and I’m assuming urine on the floor. I guess they come visit more often than I know. My cat was sleeping in my bedroom yesterday and I’m surprised he didn’t hear it. To be fair, he’s more Garfield than Bucky, but still.

For now I just walk a patrol every twenty minutes flapping a towel. IMG_0426

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