Robins, Warblers … Part 2

So I thought I was done telling this warbler story, you know, those little yellow birds, quite cute actually, flitting around right at our front door, leaving droppings on the stoop and making a huge mess.

When David, Megan and I were first discussing how to deal with the warblers, we decided an owl might scare them off. But where, pray tell, do you find an owl? Download an owl photo off the internet? Print it out and tape it to the front door? I had considered that option.

Then David scrounged up Herbert, our life-like wooden jointed cobra snake, from the basement. He set him out there right against the front door and, sure enough, Herbert has done the job.

Herbert, admiring his reflection

Herbert, admiring his reflection

The birds quit their ‘peck-peck-pecking’ out front but are still regularly spotted in the back yard.

Except, it’s been unnerving opening the door to Herbert, having him out there 24/7. He constantly startles us; we’re just never quite prepared for the sight of him.

Then there’s this problem of people stopping by. This past Sunday I spotted an old friend charging up our walk to the front door. I wanted to stop her, warn her about Herbert, but she backed off the step with a start and inquired about the snake as soon as I opened the door.


I’m just not keen on having to calm visitors and explaining the ‘snake-vs-pooping warblers’ situation to everyone who knocks on our front door. We really have to come up with another way to scare off the birds.

Enter, uh, the Universe, I guess. Because later Sunday afternoon Megan and I decided to park by the Snake River in Idaho Falls and walk the greenbelt. I swerved toward the curb into this parking space in the shade. Noticed a small stuffed animal sitting along the curb there, but what’s the harm in running it over, I want this spot!

We climb out and Megan looks under the car, hey, mom look! It’s a little baby owl! Seriously. We retrieve it and I suggest we leave it in the grass in case whoever lost it comes back looking for it. No. Says Megan. We can use it to scare the warblers! Oh! You’re right Megan! It was in great shape other than a few tire marks and, well, it’s eyes were a bit scratched up:

Maybe Winslow can do the job!

Maybe Winslow can do the job!

First thing yesterday morning Megan made sure we relieved Herbert of his duties.

"Herbert has to go, mom"

“Herbert has to go, mom”

Although Herbert’s done a good job it was just too creepy making eye contact with him every time we opened the front door. Enter: Winslow

Winslow's scratched up eyes make her spookier!

Winslow’s scratched up eyes make her spookier!

Herbert’s a gentle snake, though

What to do with Herbert?

What to do with Herbert?

It just seemed a travesty to exile him back into his dank corner in the basement. Let’s let him loose to explore the house a bit…

Oh boy, he’s in the poinsettias!

Master of disguise

Master of disguise

Better keep an eye on him, he’s wily. Where’d he go?



Herbert meets spider.

Herbert makes a friend

Herbert makes a friend

Spider has been living in the potpourri ever since last Halloween when he escaped the box. I blogged about spider here, our new permanent house guest who’s taken up residence in the downstairs bath.

Oh boy, Herbert’s headed up the stairs… Man he moves fast!


Straight to Megan’s bedroom. No Herbert, it’s not gonna fly, you posing as one of Megan’s stuffed animals

Bedtime disaster

Bedtime disaster

Herbert makes another friend. He has big dreams

Herbert finds a mate

Herbert finds a mate

No, Herbert, you are not falling in love and starting a family. And certainly not up in Megan’s bedroom!

Herbert needs a purpose. We could give him a new assignment. OUTSIDE. I know! He’s great at scaring off the birds, let’s see if he can keep the birds from eating the tomatoes!

Herbert finds a new calling

Herbert finds a new calling

There. He looks happy now.

As for Winslow, she’s been on her watch for 24 hours. It’s a kinder, gentler creature now that greets you at the front door.

Winslow saves the day

Winslow saves the day

And we aren’t startled opening the front door…


No more explaining to frightened visitors.

Of course, now we’re on high alert for that ‘peck-peck-pecking’ sound. When do yellow warblers migrate south for the winter?


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