Monday, April 28, 2008


I hadn't seen our back yard for 2 weeks and on Saturday was amazed at the glorious color. The crabapple trees, the dogwood, and the lilacs were all blooming, and everywhere there was the most beautiful green I've ever seen. It's been a very long winter.

House wrens are building in one of our birdhouses. All afternoon we watched as twigs were stuffed through the entrance hole. Sometimes the wren would go back up onto the roof of the house and try again from a different angle. Sometimes, he'd lose the twig altogether. We still don't know if we'll have eggs in the birdhouse. A male house wren will fill several cavities with twigs, and then take the female around for a real estate inspection. She picks out the one she likes, and adds a soft lining of feathers or moss to the nest. We're waiting along with the male to see whether our house will be approved!

In the kids' old playhouse (left) is a robin's nest, the one I wrote about April 7. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see her sitting on the nest. I took this photo with a 300 mm lens from about 25 feet away to avoid disturbing her. She was absolutely motionless and difficult to spot. This nest is fairly close to our back door, and to one of my flower beds. We're trying not to startle the robin, but she seems undisturbed as I work on the bed.

Some interesting birds came to the yard this weekend. Rose-breasted grosbeaks (below) were everywhere. They nest farther north, but pass through Indiana in the spring and fall.

We had 1 oriole, who took some nectar from our young pink dogwood tree. This bird is a rarity in our yard and visited only briefly. My photos were taken from some distance and are not quite as good as I'd like - but I feel lucky to have photos at all. It's gratifying to know that he found nectar in our little tree.

My only disappointment this weekend was that, in spite of 3 feeders, vibrant pink crabapple blossoms, and lots of welcoming hummer- thoughts, we still haven't seen any hummingbirds in the yard. Hurry up, guys! (Please?)

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