Friday, May 28, 2010

The birds

One of the wonderful things about technology is I can occasionally work from home.  And my favorite spot for doing that is in the West Wing, where I can keep an eye on the goings on in my backyard.  This past week, the birds provided their share of entertainment.

A lot of birds love to perch in the tulip tree, usually on their way to or from the bird bath.  This year I hung the wren house from a shepherd's hook next to the tree.  (The tree branches are not bird house ready yet.)  Some of those birds in the tulip tree take an unusual interest in the wren house.  I have seen a pair of cat birds checking it out, as well as a blue bird (why doesn't he chase the sparrows out of the blue bird house?!?), and a persistent sparrow that was bound and determined to squeeze through that little hole.  I finally rapped on the window to scare away the sparrow, and as he flew off, the wren swooped in from nowhere, landed on the house, and started his mighty song, as if to say, "And stay away!"

The other day a mourning dove was sitting on the wren house, just kind of hanging out, probably waiting his turn at the bird bath.  But the wren did not like his visitor one bit.  When scolding did not work, the wren dove past the dove and pecked him on the head!  Said dove dropped to the ground, where the wren continued to harass him until he finally vacated the premises.

In the make-love-not-war category, we have a pair of cardinals who never seem to nest anywhere that I can determine, but who flit about the yard, always together.  The other day they landed in the tulip tree and kissed!  Actually, I think the male was feeding the female, but it is more fun to call it kissing.  And tongue was involved.

Don't get me started on the randy sparrows!  They are just finishing up one brood in the blue bird house and they are already starting family number 2.

But what I really want to know is, Why do robins build their nests right next to human passageways?  This one is in the clematis by the front door.

I took these pix while cleaning out the gutters.  The parents are never far away, and are quite vocal about their disapproval of my comings and goings.

And the junipers have been in situ for just a short time, but one already has its very own robin's nest.

This one is about four feet off the ground, and every time I pass through the nearby gate, the nest's owner scares the bejesus out of me by exploding from the bush.  I'm sorry to disturb her, but hey, I live here too!

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