Up close & Personal with the Birds & the Bees

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, May 16, 2010.


  1. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    About a month ago, on a nice warm spring Sunday, I opened the window that is at chair height next to my desk. I raised the storm window but didn't pull down the screen. That evening, I closed the window but didn't drop the storm. A few days later I noticed a lot of debris in the window well. I figured it blew in so I opened the window and tossed it to the ground, closed the window and went back to work. Then I noticed a pair of house wrens chattering in consternation. For the next few hours, I watched them carefully rebuild the nest in the same place. Knowing that wrens have a short incubation period, I just left it.

    So, for the past few weeks, I've been watching the male and female tend the nest. Mama stayed inside while her mate would return even few minutes with food for his bride. Last week I started to hear tiny peeps. Both mama and papa were going out on food excursions. I can see right into the nest since the window is only about 18" off the floor and 18" from my chair. This weekend, the babies are peeping loudly when mama brings food - papa is no longer in the picture. Today, she has cleaned a lot of the debris from the front of the nest so all five babies stick they heads out to be fed.

    Mama goes out for a few minutes then returns with food and has done this steadily from dawn TIL dark every day I have been here to watch. Today I saw how she kept the nest clean. The babies would alternately turn their rear end to the nest mouth and mama would remove the mess and fly off with it.

    This has been truly fascinating to watch up close and personal. The babies are loosing the down on the top of their heads so I imagine they will be on their way soon. Unfortunately, my camera is at the shop or I would have some good photos to share.

    Last weekend, I watched a mama and papa cardinal get one of their babies on his way. He got into the azalea bush next to the window sat there for the longest time while the the parents brought him food and encouraging him. He finally made his first tentative flaps and got onto a low hanging branch of a nearby hemlock tree.

    The Azalea bush always draws a lot of hummingbirds so they have been a joy to watch as they drink and dart about.

    The blackberry bushes draw the bees so for the next few weeks, those furry little yellow creatures will continue to enjoy the nectar of spring.

    Though all this, my Apollo ~ the Wonder dog has kept a close watch on the comings and goings. The chirping babies get him quite excited but for the most part, he has been quite gentlemanly about our visitors. His ears have gotten a good workout, for sure. Unless he's sleeping, they are standing straight up as watches their every move.

    I think that I am at a time in my life where I am appreciating the small wonders of our world particularly at a time of year when new life abounds. Life for these little wrens may be as uncertain as it is for us but watching them begin their life has been a pleasure beyond words.
     
  2. jungatheart

    jungatheart Beginner's Mind

    I know just how you feel. I have Say's Phoebes that nest in my carport every year. They are like family after all these years and I'm really sorry to see them go in the fall.

    Excellent parents they endlessly bring the chicks food rain or shine. They've gotten so used to me being here that they have landed on my feet as I was stretched out in my lawn chair and what great bug catchers they are.

    I must be old too because I can watch them for hours and not be bored. This year I have three species nesting: Phoebes, Towhee, and Swallows. ;)
     
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Yesterday afternoon about 3pm with the temperture right at 90 degrees as I left for town for mail I noticed a doe laying under an old wild dogwood tree just off my driveway. When I returned I saw my first small spotted fawn of the year with it's mother at another point on my driveway. In both instances I was in a little bit of a hurry so it was rather luck and happenstance that I even got a chance to see them. My driveway is 1.2 miles long through the woods, if I go slow and wear my glasses, I see Rabbits, Squirrels, Tortoises, Red and Grey Fox, Turkeys, Deer, and the occasional Snakes..... It is a treat for these old eyes....lol
     
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Bad time for a camera to be in the shop. Sounds like you have a front seat to the show!
    Thanks for the post
     
  5. gettingoldsucks

    gettingoldsucks Monkey+

    Hey Mosquito Sailor: We share a long driveway and mostly everyday is a site seeing adventure here in Pa, no turtles or snakes as of yet but a lot of coyotes and black bears. I used to live in Jersey right between Atlantic city and Philadelphia and used to get excited if a saw a couple of deer now I'm in heaven. Tom
     
  6. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    I am sitting on 20 acres (part of 80) surrounded on all 4 sides by miles of planted pines. It is a hidden oasis. Watching mother nature that abounds around me...mostly keeps me sane.... lol ....mostly
     
  7. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    All 5 babies have left the nest! I got home pretty late last night and left early this morning so I'm not sure if it happened yesterday or today. I'm hearing little peeps from the adjacent yew so I don't think they have gone too far yet but they are certainly on their way. Apollo keeps looking into the nest, a little confused I think. I will miss watching this little family.
     
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