When I lived in my first apartment, the vent from the hood over my range let out just under the balcony of the unit above me. In the early spring, birds would come and make their nests in the space just inside the opening. They would, in their comings and goings, leave me little presents: bird poop. Lots of it, actually, all down the outside wall and plopped in a pile on the back part of my balcony, just under the vent outlet. At the end of the season, I’d ever so happily clean it up.
This was pretty much the routine, until one time, one of the adventurous little dears managed to get all the way through the vent duct to the hood over my range. I heard scraping coming from the hood and, upon closer inspection, saw a little bird foot sticking through the fan blades. I didn’t want to hurt the dumb little critter, but I also wasn’t about to keep him. So, I devised a brilliant plan: I knew that birds will go to the light (no afterlife reference here); I closed the bedroom and bathroom doors and opened the sliders to the balcony, pulling the drapes closed just up to the edges of the opening. Then, I took the steel rod I kept in the track of the sliders for security, held a broom up in front of my face, in case the light wasn’t the first thing a panicky bird went toward, and, slipping the rod into a handy ring under the light housing in the hood, I quickly pulled it down, and hey, guess what? My visitor took off right across the room and out the opening to freedom. No chirp of thanks, but no Hitchcock scene, either. Mission accomplished.
That, of course, was enough of that. When the season ended and the nest was vacated for the year, I went to the hardware store down the road and bought some lightweight chicken wire. Then I cut it to size, stuck it up against the underside of the upstairs balcony, and stapled it into place, blocking access to the vent outlet for all time. No more birds, no more bird nests, no more bird poop, and no more bird feet sticking out of my vent hood.
I like birds, but I have my limits!