Sunday, May 11, 2008

Nesting update


Baby robins! We see three tiny beaks in our robin's nest. One looks bigger than the others, but this may be because of its position in the nest. Other (fuzzier) pictures show them all about the same size.

All day the parent robins gather worms and bugs from our back yard and ferry them to the nest. The lawn and especially the flower beds seem to offer a birdie buffet. When they're not feeding the nestlings, the parents are often standing guard in a nearby tree or on the fence. They chase away blue jays who wander into the area. The jays may only be after the peanuts at the feeder, but our robins are taking no chances, since jays are known to eat eggs or prey on nestlings.

We're watching our little house wren with some puzzlement. Will he ever get a date? He's put some sticks into all 3 of our birdhouses, and last weekend we saw him fly to each house in turn, perch on the top, and sing. ("Oh, what a beeea-u-tiful nest; I made it just for you-ooo...") But we haven't seen a mate. Last year we had wrens nesting in 2 our of birdhouses, and we saw the pairs together. But we're not sure whether we have a pair, or a lonely bachelor.

This house shows the largest nest of the 3, and so we think they'll nest here, if they nest in our yard at all. The nest is bigger than it was last week, but we're still not sure what they're up to. House wren nests are practically all twigs -- and if you ask me, they could use a few lessons in interior decorating. But the mama wrens seem to like it, and I guess that's what counts.


I have no idea where these little guys are nesting, but we think it must be nearby. I enjoyed watching this chickadee pulling fibers out of my planter--he worked at it for several minutes, and then flew off with a beakful of them. Later, I watched as the pair pulled little vine bits off the brush pile. Chickadees are cavity nesters, so they'll excavate a hole in a tree, or nest in a birdhouse. (Pick ours! Pick ours!)

Visitors of note this weekend included a grey catbird and -- to my utter astonishment -- a cedar waxwing. Butterflies have started appearing too -- and they will be the focus of my next post.

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