Tag Archives: nesting

Birdhouse factory

I allowed myself to have a part of a day where I just did something that I just wanted to do, instead of needed to be done (like solar re-wiring, or boundary maintenance).  And it was even more glorious than imagined.  I made three flower boxes, and seven birdhouses, although I didn’t get to any decorative ones, just the robust functional ones the birds actually use.

With the participation of Apples the house chicken

They’re headed for the garden fence posts, etc.  Probably too late for this year’s nesters, but who knows. Spring birdhouse maintenance is going to become a day project.

All done

I saw a tree swallow!  The first I’ve seen here!  Exciting.  She was swooping over the hens, eating on the wing.  Spent the day.  I hope she’s nesting!  Possibly in a snag, in an old woodpecker hole maybe.  Perhaps in one of the first run of birdhouses that’s still up, all over.

I want to make another birdhouse tree like this.

Guineas passing through!

I have the tree in mind:)

I want to let my art out, and I’m looking forward to having some of the basic life support systems finished and dialed enough to do some purely decorative things.  There’s a paucity of room for artistic expression around here, when there’s an old shed to take apart, an invasive species that needs constant battling, and irrigating the greenhouse means carrying water when it rains.  Priorities, you know.  But a good day of fun stuff is surprisingly “filling”.For instance, the windows are past due for some attention (caulking, painting), while I’m accessorizing them with flower boxes.  One of these days, we’ll paint, and finish the siding.

Robin’s nest

They grow up so fast!  No longer hairless wonders.
They grow up so fast! No longer hairless wonders.

We have a clutch of robin’s eggs in the shed.  Three nearly hairless little birds, asleep whenever I look at them.  That means we will have to try and keep the shed from falling down before they fledge.

H.W. discovered them; he was always seeing the robin in the same place, looking “up to something”.

The mother, and possibly father (sometimes there’s two), it’s true, are always boinging around in the area, like they’re on springs, the way robins do.  Usually there’s something hanging out of the beak, too, so they’re working hard bringing up the babies.

I just learned that crows (I admire, adore, respect, revere corvids) are primarily an urban bird, and a formidable predator to most songbirds. So if crows show up here, it will be because we drew them here, providing them with resources.  I plan to try to deter them, to preserve the bird life that was flourishing here before we got here.  Crows are flourishing all over the world because of their brains and adaptability, but the songbirds they predate are threatened and in retreat everywhere that people expand their habitation into rural areas.  I want to protect and encourage the local birds that were here before we were.

I want this robin’s chicks to make it, since I’m pretty sure it was a raven that savaged my barn robin nestlings in BC.

There’s been one crow that flies over  high and fast in a straight line midmorning, then returns four or five hours later.  She’s shown no sign of stopping.   When he passes he riles up the hawk and owls – they all talk.  I remarked the crows really do sound different here, from B.C. crows, having just read about regional differences in corvid sounds.   H.W. said  “Mmm, the Maritime accent?”

A few birds need to be encouraged to stay.  Swallows (and bats too).  We could stand for a whole lot more blackflies to get swallowed.  There’s a house up the road that has dozens of birdhouses up, and the air and wires around them are filled with tree swallows, so they’re doing something right.  I hope it’s an if you build it they will come scenario.

Chickadees

The daily birdsong here is breathtaking.  Constant, loud, varied.  Several kinds of woodpeckers, and other birds I don’t recognize beyond their type-wrens, juncos, finches.  The songbird life is rich.

In particular the chickadees seem to have no concern about having us as neighbours.  There’s one or two always chatting in a tree right over my head, or flitting by, or bouncing on a branch nearby.  One’s around me so often I feel like I’m being followed.  H.W. says they are not following him.  I think chickadees are endlessly adorable with their fast, perky energy.

It turned out we parked the camper right by a chickadee nest in the making- two, but it seemed to choose one over the other after a couple days.  It was hollowing out a dead tree started by a woodpecker.  In the first tree the hole was only deep enough for half the little bird body, so I could see the tail bobbing – what is it doing in there?  Then it would back out, fly to a nearby branch, and pfft, spit out a beakful of sawdust.  Repeat.  It seemed to choose the second tree and give up on the first, though.  This hole is lower to the ground but smaller, and the tree is only about 4” diameter.  We looked in and the cavity is about a foot deep!

Impressive for such a tiny bird, one mouthful at a time.  I haven’t seen him working on the excavation for a couple of days, so I suspect and hope that this means she’s setting on her eggs now.

*I guess he was gone courtin’;  he brought back a nice lady!  We were lucky enough to catch her inspecting the nest, and she must have approved of it, because then they both danced an excited little shimmy dance, and mated!  Proving the shimmy is universal.  So now she will be laying, and then setting.