The bird’s nest in Shoshi’s Air Conditioner sleeve

IMG_20140507_145828[1]It was a pretty bad decision, newly polished wooden floors were scratched, and a sloppy repair job was needed.  At the beginning of last summer we swapped out, our daughter,  Shoshi’s half broken air conditioner with another half broken one.  The main problem was that the new one was only half the size of the old one.  The handyman stuck a piece of wood to cover the hole in her wall and a small unit sits inside of a large sleeve (metal box affixed to the outside of our house.)

Apparently the “our” in “our house” ends on the inside of the walls; a nice family of birds decided to make their home & build a nest in the oversized metal sleeve of our daughter’s AC unit.  Like all good Jewish parents we told her, “we’ll take care of it after Passover.”  The problem with promising the world ‘after Passover,’ is that inevitably Passover does come to an end….

We had no idea what to do about the constant chirping, and the scratchy noises of little bird legs that have become a part of her natural habitat.  There is no actual wall between her room and the nest so it sounds as if they are in her room.  Yesterday Shoshi declared that no matter how many times she banged on her window the birds would not fly away, there was constant chirping and she thinks that one got stuck.

When I went upstairs it was as if someone was playing a nature CD, the nuisance birds would not stop!  I felt like I should apologize to the scores of nature and animal stories I’ve read to the kids over the years, all the cute baby animals whose picture makes us smile and all those trips to the zoo where we enjoy nature while nature remains locked tight behind gates.  Yes birds are beautiful in books….but in our AC sleeve is a different story.

In an attempt to deal with the issue I finally got in touch with The Wild Bird Fund.  They explained that the chirping is coming from newborn baby birds and if we move the nest the parents will abandon them and the babies will die.  They also explained that the brids will be gone naturally in a few more weeks and we can seal up the opening after they leave.

The babies are too young to fly which is why they are chirping all day in the AC sleeve – soon they will drop to whatever is below (our front porch), spend a few days on the ground and then they will fly away.  In the end there isn’t much to do but wait.  Somehow understanding the bigger picture changes everything  and all of a sudden the chirping is pretty cute.  I even told Shoshi not to bang on the window as not to scare the babies.

There are many lessons and I’m happy to hear your ideas.  I was thinking about the idea of permanence -in relation to this week’s parsha.  We read about the land cycles including the “yovel” year which occurs every 50th year.  One of the dynamics of the yovel year is that all land returns to it’s original owner – thus conferring the modern day status of a ‘lease’ on all land purchases during Temple times and obviously land values fluctuated depending on how many years until the next yovel.   Most frustrating situations are more manageable when we realize that they are just passing phases.  In reality most things are just passing phases even if they continue to chirp all day.  “At night they are quiet,” Shoshi said, “since they are sleeping.”  In that vein finals are also a passing phase 🙂

You are always welcome to join us for Shabbat meals!  Please just let me know if you’d like to be our guest.  This Shabbat we’re hosting “Lemonade & Learning” at 4:30pm.  Enjoy a dynamic Torah discussion and delicious refreshments!


5/18 – Lag B’aomer BBQ; 6pm @Chabad House

5/20 Late Night breakfast – finals study break; location TBA

Shabbat Shalom