What I'm Seeing Now

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The Mother Came Out In A Huff And Really Yelled At Me

It started no differently than all home inspections.

I arrived early, put my tool kit on the front porch beside the door, and here beside the small hibiscus tree, and started looking at the outside of the house.

As I was walking off the front porch, the mother came out and, fairly viciously, attacked me.  I have never been treated like that before on a home inspection.

Screaming, she got in my face.  All I wanted to do was my home inspection.  She was relentless!

Surely I wasn't impolite and I didn't yell back.

All I did was duck my head and continue to walk toward the side of the house.  Was that impolite?

After a moment she backed off and flew away.  Did I say flew away?

 

Eventually my clients arrived, but there was safety in numbers.  The mother didn't contest the group.

When we got back onto the porch, we saw what had mother robin so upset.

We were able to stand there, have a peek, and then enter the house, unmolested.

The mother didn't come back when I took the photo, but I didn't linger!

The seller says they pull that hibiscus into the house every fall and return it to the porch every spring. 

And this same robin comes back every year to build a new nest and lay eggs.  She has done it for years!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 73 commentsJay Markanich • June 16 2011 06:25AM

Comments

That is the most precious story ever! I love it. Thanks for sharing. And by the way, is that tape on your eye glasses?

Posted by Terri Poehler, Coral Springs Real Estate Agent (Realtor) over 7 years ago

How are they sure it's the same Mother Robin? Is she branded? LOL

Posted by Anne M. Costello (Weidel Realtors) over 7 years ago

oh, that's funny you had me for a minute, true story, my seller did that to the home inspector over a radon kit one time!  Let's just say there was yelling, tears, and a lot of upset people.

Posted by Kim Delia, Realty Delia Group (Remax Professional Associates) over 7 years ago

Good Morning, Jay. Typical mom. You know the drill. They are protective of their young-ins...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Thanks Terri.  That is my Mr. Jay costume!  I think it's first aid tape.  Here is my first Mr. Jay's Neighborhood post:   http://activerain.com/blogsview/1851343/mr-jay-s-neighborhood-back-yard-wiring-

Anne - they think it's the same bird year to year!  Maybe she has a marking they recognize.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Kim - I'm not sure why a radon kit would cause so much upset.  Were they concerned about radon residue?

Well, Michael, she was very impolite!  Quite a screamer, that one.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Priceless!  Good morning Jay, great story, thank you.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, Appleseedhomes.com -) over 7 years ago

Ken - you wouldn't have thought that with a crazy, screaming bird flitting in your face!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay - You ruffled her feathers by getting next to her babies! Great photo and story.

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) over 7 years ago

Judy - I have the practiced ability to get into trouble without trying to get into trouble.  I have often wondered what would happen if it TRIED to get into trouble!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Great story Jay, I was waiting to hear that she called the police, I guess she probably Tweeted them instead.

Posted by Bob "RealMan" Timm, Bob Timm, Project Coordinator for Tivoli Homes (Tivoli Custom Homes) over 7 years ago

Bob - I had someone call the police on me once!  I was on the roof and a cop pulled up, interrogating me after he forcefully told me to get off the roof!  Give me a break...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

My mother swears....that "Honey Boy"....her pet robin that comes to eat raisins off the picnic table in her backyard is the same one that was there in my childhood...eh....birds lifespans are what again ?

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 7 years ago

I don't know Sally, but I bet it isn't the span of 15 years since your youth.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I didn't get it right away Jay, but the old light finally went on.  Very cute and interesting.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 7 years ago

The word "flew" could be taken in a couple of ways, Gabe, which I intended!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, how cool is that!?! I hope the new buyers keep up the tradition! Or maybe the robin will need a real estate agent and new home inspection from you! :D

Posted by Peg Barcelo, The FlufftasticStager from Summerland, BC (Fluff My House! Home Staging Inc. 250.486.6369) over 7 years ago

That is so funny, Jay.  You had me going for a bit.  Yes, moms of all types are very protective.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

I was ready to grab my boxing gloves, pull out my Motherly Persona and fly into her -- whew!  Great story! 

"Robins have an average life expectancy of 1.1 years; however, once past its first year it can expect to live longer and one Robin has been recorded as reaching 12 years of age."  Smart little critters to know where they're safe!  Think they'll move with the sellers?  Probably should have written the Hibiscus into the "does convey" portion of the agreement!  Happy day!

 

Posted by Tish Lloyd, Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) over 7 years ago

Very funny story.

We have double jet ski holders at the lake.

A mother built a nest in one. So now when we go out, we get yelled at an attacked too.

My hubby will NOT move it so we endure.

 

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 7 years ago

Jay,

Good story. It is that time of year. Mom's are always protective. 

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Lets hope the new buyers so the same with the same plant. And they need to do it in time or put up a 'no vacancy' sign.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) over 7 years ago

This is such a cute story, Jay, I am sure replayed on porches and decks all across North America this spring.  We have a Kildeer nesting nearby, but I have been unable to locate her nest...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Jay,

Thanks for the human side of the business. I enjoyed and will re-post.

Three questions about policy and proceedures for you:

  • Did you bill the owner for the inspection of TWO residences?
  • If so, What form of compensation did Mrs. Robin give?
  • Was the Robin Family residence up to code?

 

Posted by Brad Rachielles, REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA (CENTURY 21 Peak, Ca BRE# 01489453) over 7 years ago

I'm hoping so too Peg.  I left my card in the tree.

Debbie - I wanted to have you, and everyone else, going!  By the way, a Simpson engineer contacted me again this morning saying they like the bolt idea and are sending it on to product development for review.  I may need that marketing agent!

Thanks Tish!  When I need my back covered, I will call you.  I think the new owners will have to buy a hibiscus next spring.

Missy - you better not!  Is that one of the Great Lakes?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I think mothers are protective any time of the year Don!  I'm glad I didn't run into a couple of black bear cubs...

Robert - they were saying that when the owner told us the story of the tree.

Thanks Chris.  Maybe that Kildeer comes here to the south for the winter?

I left my card in the tree for the mother Brad, and hope she calls.  I think the robin is the local jurisdictional authority in this case and has approved her nest for structure and defense.  Thanks for the reblog!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Hello Jay,

Great Blog!

My wife has wanted one of those hibiscus trees for years.  I am going to have her read your blog and maybe she will decide it's not worth giving up her front porch to nesting robins...maybe...probably not...ought to just go buy her one now.

Posted by Kim Carnes, Carnes Home Inspections - Indianapolis Metro Area and beyond - (Licensed - Certified Home Inspectors (317) 753-7098) over 7 years ago

Jay,

When I was a kid, climbing trees, I used to see lots of robins. Not doing so anymore, I see fewer of them but Nutsy says they are still out there.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Kim - you could get one and instead of a robin nesting, you might attract a protective rattlesnake, tiger or even a falcon.  Any of those could defend the entrance to your door, but maybe not as well as that robin!

Mason - he would know.  I have seen his house and he could be surrounded by robin neighbors you might not even see.  You are still young enough to continue to climb trees, and I suggest you do!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Hi Jay - Great post - super entertaining. At my old house the same mama dove would come and raise her babies in our patio area. I looked forward to her visit every spring.

Posted by Heather Tawes Nelson, Associate Broker, ABR, CLHMS, CRS - Scottsdale, AZ (Realty ONE Group) over 7 years ago

Jay- so cute!  Great post and great photos. :)

Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Your Castle RE Colorado (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) over 7 years ago

Jay, you really had me going...what darling newbies to photograph...thanks for sharing & glad yu are safe!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Jay - great story. We have birds build a nest on our porch every year. Not sure if it's the same bird.

Posted by Carla Freund, Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489 (Keller Williams Preferred Realty) over 7 years ago

I feel your pain Jay. A family of Robins builds a nest above my rear door every year and at one point or another dive bombs whoever forgets and walks out the back door. Only lasts a couple weeks thankfully.

Posted by Randy Ostrander, Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI (Lake and Lodge Realty LLC ) over 7 years ago

nice shot - cute story Jay

Posted by Andy Capelluto (International School of Staging) over 7 years ago

Awwww...now that just brightened my otherwise lousy day!!! Thanks!

Posted by Jamie King, Sandusky, OH (Hoty Enterprises, Inc.) over 7 years ago

What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684) over 7 years ago

You had me going for a second, that will give you a hart attack.

Posted by Brad Gotham (Granite Peak Inspection, Inc. ) over 7 years ago

You made my day!!  I had to laugh and smile too!  Thanks so much for sharing this great story!

Posted by Barbara Johnson, CDPE, ABR, RSPS (Real Estate of Florida ) over 7 years ago

C'mon jay, you should know it by now! Every tenant requires a 24 hour notice! Obvioulsy, you did not have an appointment. What else did you expect? Everybody has rights, and everyone has a personal space that must be respected... specially when kids are present. Good story, thank you for the post

Antonio

Posted by Antonio & Alexia Cardenas, "The Realtors In Motion" (Alameda County - San Leandro, CA.) over 7 years ago

Heather - birds seem to go where they feel the safest and able to get done what they want to do!

Glad you enjoyed it Jennifer.  Sometimes you have to put a little fun into the blog mix!

Ginny - I understood it all once I saw the little ones, but I am still crying from the experience...

Carla - we have a nest under our porch which gets used every year.  I doubt it is the same bird!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Randy - if that's true then I got to this house at just the wrong time!

Thanks Andy.  Stop by anytime you want entertainment!  Or maybe some home inspection instruction.

Happy to do it Jamie!  Sorry the rest of the day was so lousy, but this too shall pass.

And I am gla you liked it too Liane.  Not every post can be cute or fun.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I intended to have you going Brad!  And getting chased by that robin was certainly an attack!

Always happy to brighten somebody's day Barbara!  And to get a smile out of you!

I should have given a little more notice, that's true Antonio.  But now I can say I had my own tango with a young lady dressed in red.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I was dive bombed by a blue jay just recently. My hair actually moved! Those mothers can get very territorial when you get near their young.

Posted by Cynthia Larsen, Independent Broker Serving Sonoma County, CA (Safe Haven Realty) over 7 years ago

Cynthia - and jays are very aggressive.  They bomb other birds in their territories!  Good to hear your hair is still there.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

I finally tackled the overgrown stuff at the far downhill corner of our lot just yeaterdan and came to a quick halt when I discovered a nest full of eggs.   I hope I left enough of a green buffer to pacify the mother, who wasn't around at the moment.    This is a better location than the one who used to nest just above our front-door light fixture.  

Posted by Mary Sheridan, Creative Marketing, Buyer Agency 423-943-7655 (Keller Willliams - 1033 Hamilton Place,Johnson City TN 37604) over 7 years ago

We have a VERY determined robin building a nest on top of our front porch light. I destroyed it twice, but didn't have the heart to tear it down a third time. So now we have a nest instead of a front porch light...

Posted by Tim Bradley, Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY (Contour Investment Properties) over 7 years ago

One must be prepared for different situations! Great way to handle it!

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) over 7 years ago

As a kid I always was told it wasn't Spring until you saw the first Robin Red Breast. I no longer have to look, my cat usually brings it to me and leaves on the back porch.

Birds can be very aggressive, maybe they are all Alfred Hitchcock fans, and I have seen a couple of smaller birds chasing none of our hawks away.

Posted by Marshall Brown, BSEE, CHI (Mid America Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

Loved reading your story.  Thank you for sharing.

Posted by Kathy Strader, ASP (Memorial Staged Homes) over 7 years ago

Sorry to laugh, but that is one of the very best headlines and accompanying story I have seen here on AR. Boy, did you ever nail me with that one!

You just never know where a nest will show up.

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE) over 7 years ago

Love the story!  I too was attacked this morning as I was watering a plant on my front porch.  I looked in the plant and there was a wren nest with 6 little eggs.  I hope they don't mind being on a damp plant as I will need to continue to water!!!

Posted by Laura Gibson, CRS (817 229-4494) Grapevine TX (RE/MAX Unlimited in Grapevine TX) over 7 years ago

Jay you really had me so lost! Until the very last paragraph, I was still looking for a 'human ending', and then the bird next finally made sense (some of us are not so bright as you can tell - LOL). Great 'mother' analogy.

Posted by Ruby Lee Sweeting, Your Bahamas Agent for Relocations & Second Homes (Darville Wong Associates Realty Bahamas) over 7 years ago

So are they leaving the hibiscus?  If not...what is Mother Robin to do?

Posted by Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker, Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940 (Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska) over 7 years ago

Cute and you understand bird talk too!

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) over 7 years ago

So long as she feels safe Mary!  If anyone gets too close I expect they will "feel the force."

Take care of it when the babies get pushed out of the nest Tim.  At this point, what else to you have?

This one took me by surprise Gerard!  Hard to prepare for that one.

Marshall - robins don't leave here during the winter.  Just yesterday I saw a smaller bird dive bombing a hawk as they were flying!  I bet in a different context it wouldn't be so brave.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

You're very welcome Kathy.  It was a fun post to write!

Jon - intended to suck you in!  The poor little home inspector getting beaten up by a mother...  what is the world coming to?

Laura - they are little but can be fierce!  I doubt the sogginess will disuade the bird.

Ruby - she was the mother!  It's a story intending to pull you in becaue you think one thing while reading another.  But all true!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Mike - if this is an annual event I expect they will.  Or the buyers will get a new one for next year!

Kimo - I had my vocabulary increased dramatically!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

The birds and their nest seem to be every where this time of year. You can't blame mom for being in a huff.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

Very cute, Jay!  ...... AS USUAL!!!!  Great MENTAL IMAGES!

Posted by Kathy Opatka, Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches (RE/MAX CROSSROADS) over 7 years ago

Sweet, fun post to start my day. Thanks Jay!

Posted by Suzi Sandore, North County San Diego Homes (RealtyONEGroup) over 7 years ago

Got me smilin', thanks for the day's chuckle!

Posted by Ken Anderson, Broker in Burlington, Ontario (Apex Results Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Easy for you to say Jim.  She looked to be about the size of Sam Huff...

Cathy - picture painted?  And I had you going at first too, huh?

You are welcome Suzi.  Sometimes a fun post comes out of here.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Ken - not much better than that!  Smiling uses fewer muscles than frowning too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay,

It that Kim Carnes, above, the same one who recorded Betty Davis Eyes. If so, a weird career move? I thought mine from broadcasting was a bit unusual, but from being a #1 popstar?

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Jay,

I meant to ask, now that you have finally gone to a more professional image on your blog photo, is that having a positive uptick on your business?

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 7 years ago

The popstar Kim Carnes has a wife Mason?  Not sure about that.

I think the new avatar, Mr. Jay's that is, has been received and recognized for the astute awareness it portrays, and the image of understanding, indeed house whispering, that it conveys.  You probably saw that right away I would think.  Good for you!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Here I thought it was the seller acting like the Wicked Witch of the North.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 7 years ago

Drew you in too Lyn?  Even my daughter thought someone had yelled at me and then wondered why I didn't bring home a baby robin for her to "take care of."  You know it would have been me taking care of it...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

What a sweet story Jay!  Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Posted by DeeDee Riley, Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas (Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA) over 7 years ago

Thanks DeeDee.  I am glad you enjoyed it.  Have a good week end yourself!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay - I had an eye on your picture of the birds nest, but thought someone had come from the house! New meaning to Home Sweet Home.

Posted by Robert Courtney, Century 21 All Islands, RA, CDPE, MCRE, CIAS over 7 years ago

I kind of fooled you Robert!  My intention of course.  Unfortunately, when I went back a couple of days later to retrieve the radon test the sellers told me that something had gotten those baby birds - snake or cat - and the nest was empty.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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