Sunday, December 3, 2017

Anyplace You Build Your Nest Is Home

Even on these short days when the sun drops behind the ridge by 4:30 PM, in the middle of the day a walk in the garden is delightful.  It was the little pink birdhouse in Helen's garden that caught our attention this time.  I guess the brightly colored,  especially pink, house which was a gift to me from Helen was only designed to look pretty.  However when it was placed in the garden, house wrens moved in that very day.  I could not see a way to clean out the house and was ready to give up on it, but Ed took it inside and found a way to pry off the bottom.  It was held on with just three very small nails.  We were both amazed by the tightly packed sticks at the base of the nest.

We decided that the best thing to do was to clean out the house and see if we could use it again next spring.  After all, I had so much fun watching the wrens work to get those straight sticks into that little hole.  I want to do that again!

I was very curious to see the nest. Ed pried out he tightly compacted sticks and carefully laid out the nest.  Clearly the little birds feathered their nest with feathers from other larger birds. I recognized a blue jay feather, but there were others that were way too large to be a feather of a wren. The little white ball at the bottom of the picture is a tiny spider nest.  Wrens have been observed placing these in their nest.   One small unhatched wren egg was left in the nest.  Whether it contained a dead baby or was all dried up will remain a mystery.  I was not interested in breaking open that beautiful little speckled egg!

You can see from this picture taken in June that the wrens filled the house all the way up to the entrance hole with their nest.  As far as I could tell, the little pair of birds were delighted with their housing choice.  When I was weeding in the area, the little birds would dart in whichever door was on the side opposite where I was working.  I got to enjoy their songs and chatter watch them slip inside with bugs in their beaks and I'm sure I heard the noise of tiny  baby birds waiting to be fed.  In the Spring we plan to put the refurbished house back in Helen's garden before the wrens arrive.  Such incredibly wonderful tenants deserve special treatment!

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