As the video opens in the netted courtyard of an apartment building, a bird can be seen sitting atop a ventilation unit on a lower roof. Another bird, on the left, is perched at a small opening in a wall between the third and fourth floors. The bird walks inside the opening to a nest, its tail feathers completely disappearing from view within the wall. The bird becomes partially visible again a few moments later as it peers out toward the other nearby bird below.
Meanwhile, the bird from the ventilation unit on the lower roof flies to another opening lower in the same wall between the second and third floors. That bird also enters the wall and disappears from view, partially obscured by a fire escape slat.
Of note is one of several other openings in the wall to the right which had been filled with what appears to be fiberglass insulation. The birds had pecked away and often consumed the material bit by bit, leaving a visible concave space at the front of the insulation after their repeated attempts to clear the opening to gain an additional nesting place.
Loose bricks appear to have been placed within two other openings below, perhaps as an effort to prevent birds nesting inside the walls via those two openings. As the camera pans upward, another opening to a nest within the walls becomes visible. Multiple adult birds disappear into the wall through that opening on a regular basis. The nest inside currently houses two young birds still being provided for by their parents.
The camera pans right and reveals a different bird grooming its feathers while perched on the railing of a fire escape. Brown protective paint is visible on the metal in this area of the fire escape despite decades of bird droppings landing on the paint. Earlier in the video, a different section of the same fire escape platform and railings can be seen to be almost entirely free of paint which had burned away in a fire from a lower unit in 2011. The fire escape has never been repainted. Both small areas of brown paint and areas of rust are visible on that section of the fire escape.
Building management had recently notified tenants of a planned inspection of the building's fire escapes on Friday, June 17th, 2016 between 11am and 1pm. Despite the posted notice, no one appeared on, below or above this fire escape before, during or after the announced times that day.
This fire escape had been blocked at the top by anti-bird netting for most of the prior fifteen years. San Francisco Animal Care and Control had recently ordered the building management to open the netting so that the birds nesting in the walls could leave to access food and water and also return to care for their young at which point the netting above this fire escape had been folded back to create an opening.
Duration 33 seconds. Video track only. Recorded on an iPhone 4S.
The QuickTime MOV file is the highest quality version.