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  • Writer's pictureMiri M

Bird scare made from metal mooncake box - an owl to keep birds away and keep them safe

Scaring means caring

First let me explain what an owl shaped bird scare is, and why I have to scare the birds. After all, it's not Halloween yet.

I made it because I love birds and I do not want another baby bird from dying on my tree, or have to deal with soiled blankets from bird poop again. Let me tell you what happened.

A story about two baby birds

About 2 months ago, we noticed that a pair of Bulbul birds were making nests on our 2nd floor balcony. We were delighted to see them, but we knew that with such proximity to humans some bird parents might not come back to feed their babies. We tried to scare them away, but it didn't work. One morning, we found that they already laid 2 eggs on our tree. So we stayed away from the balcony for as much as possible, and gave the birds more privacy.

However, since we were at home a lot due to Covid, the bird parents were not brave enough to come back to feed the babies as often as they need. I read somewhere that baby birds need to be constantly fed when they are awake. Sadly, one baby died in the nest, and the other one fell down from the nest onto the pot. I consulted some friends who have experience feedings baby birds, but I didn't have the confidence of getting the right food for it, so I made sure my family stays away from the tree and prayed that the parents would feed the baby adequately and keep it healthy. My younger daughter, cared a lot about the birds and everyday she would hide in the corner and checked on the baby to make sure it's alright. A week later, we found that sadly the second baby also didn't make it.

The bulbuls came back again!

About a few weeks later, I was surprised to see the Bulbul parents came back to set up nest again, this time at the same spot! Come on, parents, didn't you learn? Don't you know you have to stay away from dangerous humans?

This time I acted quickly. In order to protect these birds, I borrowed my child's leather owl pouch and put it on the tree. We hoped that the toy owl's big eyes would scare the birds away and they will find another tree to build their nest. It worked! The Bulbul birds left and looked for another tree behind our house to build the nest. This time, the nest is really high up and it's away from any human intervention. Whew!

Happy ending for everyone

A week later, I heard the familiar cry of the hungry Bulbul babies, their cries were loud and clear, just like healthy little human babies. I was happy to know they are safe.

The Mooncake box challenge

Now, back to this mooncake box. I am one of the collaborators/creators of Upcircle, a free community app that connects people with unneeded items with people who need these items for their repurposing, upcycling or recycling projects and initiatives. I was invited by them to participate in an event that calls for fellow creators to repurpose or recreate mooncake boxes into something that can extend the life of the boxes. What a fun challenge!

The creative process

Ooh...the first image I had in mind after hearing from them, are the traditional metal mooncake boxes from Wing Wah that I used to keep my little treasure and trinkets in when I was a child. Then, I thought, since these boxes are metal, they would be shiny, and they can withstand the weather...... so this idea came up! Transforming the metal box into an owl that I can hang on my tree to scare away the birds, or put it at the window of my master bedroom to scare the mynah birds that often venture into my mastered room like they own it, leaving poop everywhere.

The metal work process

I work a lot with metal because I am an accessories maker, and I love repurposing old materials into something new. However, I underestimated the strength of this metal box. It is much harder to cut than normal accessories wire, and the edges are dangerous and very sharp. I had to stay in a corner of my kitchen and warned my children to stay away. There I cut, twisted, hammered, and had fun. At first I wanted to challenge myself to make a 3D owl, but changed my mind and made a 2D one instead. I don't wanna cut my fingers : P

Now I have an owl working day and night protecting the birds... and my bedsheets.

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