Lois' Writings

Concerto in C-Sharp Major for Trumpet and Turkey Buzzards

A while ago we started to notice a lot of healthy tree parts strewn all over our backyard, especially in the area under a particular stand of pine trees. 

Now, various flora scattered about the yard is nothing new to us since we have quite a large variety of plants, and on windy days all sorts of stuff ends up everywhere, but it looked as if someone had taken a chainsaw and purposely decided to do some unnecessary pine tree trimming. 

Not such a good thing when those trees are needed not only for privacy but to ward off those prevailing northern winds. 

So we went to investigate.  What we discovered was more than just a lot of tree parts strewn about, but also large splotches of white bird poop under the trees. 

Now, we do have crows that reside in these trees, but we knew crows, no matter how many of them, were incapable of making such a mess or causing so much damage. 

It was then that I realized that I had not been awakened by said crows in a while; and in fact we had not seen any squirrels, or much else for that matter for quite some time. 

It was at dusk that the answer presented itself: About 30 turkey buzzards came to roost in the pine trees. 

Being a woman of action the first thing I did was head outside, yelling and clapping my hands in order to scare the buzzards away.  This worked. 

A total of 3 times. 

I next got a large, metal mixing bowl and a large metal spoon to beat the bowl with, which was added to the yelling I was already doing. 

This actually worked, but I had to keep at it for about an hour, and every evening as the birds tried to settle in for the night. 

To say that I did not last long, and that these birds were very persistent, would be an understatement. 

The score: Buzzards 7, Lois 0. 

So to the internet I went, where I soon learned that not only are these birds a pain to get rid of, but good luck in doing so as they are federally protected, so whatever was done had to be humane and not harm the birds at all. 

That a few expletives left my lips after learning of this would be an understatement. 

But I also read that if one was determined the birds would soon realize that your stand of trees was not that appealing. 

If only it were that simple. 

Since they were getting used to the yelling and metal mixing bowl combo I bought an air horn, which actually worked. 


I, on the other hand, was going deaf. 

The score: Buzzards 17, Lois 0. 

I then read about how some people saw success using a starter pistol, so off I went in search of one.  I contacted a gun shop and was told that in Maryland a starter pistol came under the same laws as a regular gun, so I might as well get a real gun and use blanks to scare the buzzards away. 

I do not think so. 

So the man suggested that I try a theatrical gun, which I could easily obtain. 

If only it were that simple. 

You see, theatrical pistols, though needing to sound like a real gun, in reality are not very loud. 

The score: Buzzards 20, Lois 0. 

It was at this time that Dave had the week off for the holidays, so I presented him with an idea. 

Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

At first Dave balked at my idea, saying that it was ridiculous and would not work, because so far nothing had worked, so why would blasting a trumpet at the buzzards be any different. 

But I persisted. 


He finally agreed to give it a try. 

The next evening all was in place.  Turkey buzzards could be seen circling the skies above so I shoved a reluctant Dave out the door and told him to wait until most of the birds had landed in the trees, then to blast them with the most unbearable sound he could make. 

Which is easy to do on a trumpet I might add. 

So he did. 

And every single bird in those trees took off at once. 

It was such a beautiful sight to behold. 

And they did not return. 

The next evening a few birds tried to land in the trees but Dave blasted them again. 

And that was all it took. 

So, if anyone has a flock of buzzards that need to be dealt with I know a guy with a trumpet. 

And he’s cheap too. 

The Score: Buzzards 20, Lois 21.