After making some 50 houses during the past 15 years in the Peterson style favored by bluebirds and watchers alike, Sky's dwellings have become professional grade. A stockbroker for 30 years, he retired in 1995 and now embraces bird-watching with a passion; one of the three houses on his property is a gift from his children and has a camera that allows watching from a monitor in the kitchen. "They're so fascinating to me," he says of bluebirds. "I just love them."
As do many of us who appreciate birds for their connecting us to the natural world, their beautiful looks, along with the movement they bring to the garden – flitting, zipping, swooping and diving. And singing through it all.
Before lunch, Sky got busy, installing the pole, mounting the coated-pine house and giving a tour inside and outside, including the peep hole with a sturdy hinged door.
|A welcoming entry, just the right size and shape.|
|Good-sized side opening allows watching up close – through plexiglass.|
I popped an e to Sky, reporting the non-bluebird. I could just hear Sky chuckling as he answered: "Congratulations! You are the proud birdfather of a Carolina Chickadee!" He added that he has two at his place and that he's heard stories about their flying up to people and eating out of their hands.
That could happen, but not at this bird house, I think. A short while after the chickadee left, in came a pair of bluebirds. Traditionally, the male finds a prospective home, and the female decides whether it's suitable.
Says Sky: "Ive seen males start building to attract females," but after they move in, he lets her do the rest of the building. The pair played out the house hunt by that script, with the male showing up, followed by the wife a couple of minutes later:
|"Hon, it's great. Come look while I take your place on that Japanese maple."|
|"It's nice. Brand new. But I'm telling you, if you think I'm doing all the work again, you got another think coming."|
As do my first hesitant, winter-wearied but unbowed cherry blossoms on my my first spring day in Marietta, Georgia.