Some Pesky Little Bird Decided To Put My Jeep J10 Project On Hold

I just got my beloved full-size Jeep J10 pickup that’s been sitting in my backyard for over a year up and running, as I plan to (probably) sell it to finance work on my lovely 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle. But there’s a problem: I can’t drive the J10 out of my yard, because there’s a bird’s nest on the front driver’s-side tire.

It turns out, the cavernous wheel opening of a full-size Jeep is a fine spot for a bird’s nest, and a 31 x 10.50 Cooper Discovery all-terrain tire makes for a decent perch for said nest. At least, this mystery bird in my backyard thinks so, deciding to build the fine grass structure you see above, and popping out these beautiful blue eggs:

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The bird, I suspect, is an American Robin (the state bird of Michigan), and I’ve been debating whether to move the nest so I can get the Jeep onto my driveway to remove its transmission, which has some issues with—I suspect—the input shaft bearing. Fixing my Jeep would let me get a few more dollars out of it if I decide to sell it, and that means I get to treat my Golden Eagle the nice, new parts it deserves. (And also, I’ve been itching to buy another vehicle).

I called the Detroit Audubon Society, an organization devoted to the conservation of birds, to get some advice. The representative, Erin, referred me to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which makes it illegal to move the nest of a native migratory bird. Browsing through the list of protected species, American Robin is present.

But Erin also told me to call the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and get some input from Fish and Wildlife. I did that, and was told by the representative that, essentially, because this isn’t a hawk or a falcon, it’s totally fine to move the nest, so long as I didn’t destroy it. She also gave me some input on the safest way to relocate the straw baby bird cradle.

Strangely, this is the SECOND time I’ve spotted a bird’s nest on top of the tire of a full-size Jeep. This one here was on a Grand Wagoneer’s front tire (I was contemplating buying this Woodie when I looked at my Golden Eagle).
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With that in mind, I’ve decided that I won’t risk causing harm to these birds, so I’m just going to leave the J-truck in place. But if these little living ornithopters don’t hurry up and hatch and quickly learn to fly away, I’ll be a bit T-O’d. These baby birds are taking up coveted warm wrenching days, and everyone knows those are extremely limited in the state of Michigan.

Who am I kidding? I’ve been dragging ass on the J10 for years. This is just a good excuse to continue doing so.

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About the author

David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio