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Ric Capucho
13th Apr 2004, 09:16
Our apartment has traditional, Swiss, handmade, plastic slatted roller-shutters on every window and external door. These are used to keep foul weather at bay during the hurricane season, or alternatively, during the Swiss National Agrophobic Week.

Said shutters wind-up (with an endearing squeak-squeak-squeak) by way of a wind-up cranked handle, located within the apartment. Needless to say, the Swiss have designed their wind-up shutters so that they are neatly concealed into a gap above said window/door.

Now, whether in the up or down position, there's a small gap to either side of the topmost shutter slat, and here be an ideal opportunity for our feathered friends to build their homes.

Sparrows.

Or 'sparrers', in the vernacular.

After our Easter break, we've come home to find a small brown nest, built by a small brown bird, above every bloody window/door we've got. That's seven of the buggahs. Last year we only had to cope with one, but this year he's invited all his sparrow mates around for a piece of the real estate. I say 'he', because bloke sparrers do all the nest building, and then puff up their little brown chests, and whistle at any passing she-sparrers. These being Swiss sparrers, they're actually very polite to the girls, and nothing at all like those Italian sparrers, who are a disgrace to sparrows everywhere.

Brit sparrers are similar to Swiss sparrers, only wetter.

Ric

sprocket
13th Apr 2004, 09:31
Watch out for them cloaked sparrers, they hop in to a group of happily eating sparrers and then without warning ... BOOM , they just explode, taking out all and sundry around them.

ratsarrse
13th Apr 2004, 10:11
You should count yourself lucky. Round here, the steely-eyed magpies rule the roost assisted by their thuggish bodyguards - the crows.

Ric Capucho
13th Apr 2004, 10:19
We have magpies here too. And crows. However, there're enough large birds of prey about to keep 'em in their place, though. A Swiss magpie is well down the food chain, positioned somewhere between a buzzard and a bluetit. Probably closer to the bluetit, if you ask me.

Swiss eagles and buzzards seem to spend a lot of time sat in a wet pile of feathers, somewhere in the middle of a large Swiss field of grass.

They look a bit sad, if well fed.

I must say, Swiss sparrers make very neat and tidy nests. Not like yer Brit sparrer that makes nests out of bits of plastic, used condoms, and wet leaves. Yer Swiss sparrer has better raw materials to work with: fluff, wool and nice dry bendy twigs. Yer Brit sparrer would be twisted with jealousy to see a Swiss sparrer nest.

Ric

Send Clowns
13th Apr 2004, 10:57
With the Red Kites making a big comeback in Southern England expect the crows and magpies to take a bit of a beating :E Even buzzards and various hawks seem more common now.

ShyTorque
13th Apr 2004, 11:07
It's certainly true that the bigger the bird, the more trouble it causes. My wife, for instance, Mrs. ShyteHawk, wields a mighty right hook and one grip from those sharp talons and you're a goner .....:ouch: :}

But in UK they say the poor spadger is becoming an endangered species. They certainly used to nest all over our old family home but we don't even have one nest these days.

angels
13th Apr 2004, 11:19
ShyTorque - you're quite right. We had sparrers aplenty in the old days. But I'm afraid, domestic cats, magpies, crows etc have led to their demise.

I live in what is usually described as 'urban surbubia' IE I'm in a city but there are plenty of trees, hedges etc around. We have a stack of crows and magpies, but I can't remember the last time I saw a sparrow.

There's a nice jay, pigeons, wood pigeons and the seagulls (we're near the Thames) and even a kestrel or two, but no sparrows. :sad:

X-QUORK
13th Apr 2004, 11:38
Apparently the reason for the severe decline in Sparrow numbers in the Uk is the lack of decent meadow or rough land. These are the types of land that are abundant with insect life to feed the tweeters, but farming and nice tidy gardens have drastically reduced the amount of food available for our feathered friends.:(

Ozzy
13th Apr 2004, 12:38
Being the polite, law abiding Swiss type sparrers that they are, I expect they would be quite forthcoming with the rent, Ric. So, serve them the lease, have them make their mark and then start collecting the seasonally adjusted short term rental fees:E

Ozzy

IB4138
13th Apr 2004, 13:16
Most of the sparrers that were in the Uk have followed the example set by several undreds of thasands of us true Anglo Saxon humans and settled in Spain. There are hoards of em ere!

chuks
13th Apr 2004, 13:40
Many Germans are madly attached to their cars. I have often found myself in the qeue for the car wash behind what looks to me like a shiny-clean car. Usually they have one of those nodding dogs or else a doll that holds a toilet roll under its skirt on the hat shelf, and a middle- or old-aged pair of love birds sharing the front seats. Aaaw....

So the crows build their nests in the tall trees all around town and then bomb the cars with their paint-eating crap, which drives these car-proud Germans mad! The 'Feurwehr' have to spend lots of time blasting crow's nests out of the town's trees every spring with their high-pressure hoses. Then they go away and the crows return to building their nests.

We also have a pair of mallard ducks that seem to like our little fish pond. Again, the neighbours go mad. It seems that the ducks get into their pond as well and stir up the mud, as ducks do. So they shoo the ducks away, vehemently, go back inside, the ducks come back... (repeat as necessary). I have the odd feeling that the ducks enjoy visiting the neighbours more than they do us, since we ignore them.

Ric Capucho
13th Apr 2004, 13:51
Strange, one's childhood memories are teaming with sparrows fighting like, erm, rabid sparrers for pieces of bread and toast. Millions of the little rascals, tweeting their little hearts out.

Am I to believe they've all buggahed off? Can a resident of the fair city of Manc confirm this is so?

Ric

Capn Notarious
13th Apr 2004, 17:10
He writes of Swiss Sparrows, is their linege demonstrated by the penknife carried?

Ric Capucho
13th Apr 2004, 22:04
Indeed they do carry Swiss Army Knives, Mr Notarious.

How else do you think they clean stones out of horses hooves?

Ric