The other day I had to fight against a couple of pigeons in the morning. They tried to build a nest in the balcony of my apartment. I had to stop them from doing it.

     I would allow them to make a nest if I lived on the first floor or in a house. I live, however, on the fifth floor of the building which is five stories high. If pigeons live in my balcony, the people who live in the downstairs may be bothered by their droppings. You know, most Japanese hang out the washing and bedclothes. And whenever they come, my balcony becomes very dirty as well.

     Those pigeons wouldn’t give up and tried to stay on at the balcony. Yet both of them flew away to find materials for making a nest and food. While they were gone, I checked the balcony. I tried to look under an outdoor unit of the air conditioner, which it seems that they liked, but I couldn’t see inside well. I took some photos with my cellphone, being inserted under the outdoor unit. They hadn’t completed their nest yet.

     That’s why I decided to clean it up and to seal off the gap under the outdoor unit before they came back. I saw something which looked like a pile of straw in the recesses. Since it’s too narrow to get at for me, I used a pair of tongs and picked the pile little by little.

     Look! It was a small haystack! I was very surprised to see it, wondering when the pigeons gathered such grass. I didn’t know that I had to be more surprised at that time…

     Anyway, I began putting that dried grass into a plastic bag. I finished filling it up, when I found tiny eggs remain. There were very small five eggs on the floor. I was dumbfounded.

“Oh, no! They’ve already had eggs! I destroyed their nest! What shall I do?”

     But soon calmness came back to me. Wait. For pigeon’s eggs, they were too small. I had seen pigeon’s eggs before. It’s white and a little bit smaller than hen’s egg. Those five eggs, however, were not white. They were light brown and speckled, and each one has diameter of only about 1.5 cm! Ah! They were sparrows’!

     It seems that the pigeons plundered from a nest where a sparrow couple had lived. But I hadn’t known that sparrows were there at all until that day. You know, you can’t throw birds eggs away without permission. There’s a law for preservation of wildlife in Japan.

     So I called a public office and asked what to do. The expert said, “Put all stuff back where it was.” I replied, “I can’t because the place is too narrow to do that!” And he suggested putting some dried grasses into a cardboard box and then putting those eggs on it. Luckily I had some small cardboard boxes and I was able to follow the direction.

     After a while, I took a look at the box in the balcony, when I saw a pigeon sitting in the box. I wondered if the pigeon couple was going to raise sparrows’ children. But that night when I checked the box again, it was overturned and the eggs were broken on the floor…The eggs were too tiny to be sat by a pigeon, I think. And of course, those pigeons’ purpose to come to my balcony was having their own kids.

     Next morning, I cleaned the balcony, feeling sorry for those eggs and their parents. Since then I’ve been fighting against pigeons. I don’t know whether they are the same ones, but at least a couple of pigeons come to my apartment every day and try to built their sweet home…


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