Writings about

the many life lessons

unearthed when we dig

in the dirt . . . and pursue

a wide range of other interests

in the constantly changing

garden of life.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Whole lotta building going on in birdland




After I was given the bluebird house in March (click here) it quickly became clear that Carolina chickadees would be the tenants. Not bluebirds. It also is clear that those chickadees are among the hardest-working creatures in birdland.

I went out to the front garden and opened both the plexiglass viewing window on the side and the front door, hoping the husband and wife were not home. They weren't.







Through the plexiglass:





I had seen the two birds carrying these twigs through their little oval entrance, but I never would have believed they had carried this many. And that they had placed them j-u-u-u-st so.








Opening the pull-down front door, I learned the birds and I have something in common: We both love mosses. They borrowed from my stash and neatly tucked it into their castle.



The moss clearly was in first, apparently making a cushion for the twigs. All manner of other materials are woven through the nest, including leaves, pine needles and fur. Don't ask.

Whether the birds have finished building, I don't know. When they'll have little chickadees, I don't know either. I look, I listen, and I hope they survive Cat Bette, who seems disinterested in the birds – and afraid of my threats.

Alas, she does have a history. Click here for her rap sheet from my Connecticut garden.

12 comments:

  1. Hard to keep other birds from nesting in bluebird houses - and purple martin houses for that matter. At least they're not starlings!

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    1. I love the way you think. I do believe *most* birds are good tenants.

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  2. No bird boxes here yet, though I'd like to buy/build some someday.

    Meanwhile, just discovered yesterday that a robin has built a nest on one of our porch lamps. Took a peek this morning when I was out watering and Mama Robin (I presume) was nest-sitting. Looks like we may have more tenants soon... :)

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    1. Your robin is an example of how birds show up where and when they want. Enjoy!

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  3. It’s fascinating how intricate the nest is built and the way it is layered. I have birds nesting in my tall cedar tree every spring and they keep dropping building material all the time at this time of year. Not sure if there are chicks in the nest already and they might be kicking the material out, or if the parents are still building, but I keep finding twigs of the about 6-8” under the tree all the time, some mornings I can find up to 10 twigs. They must be very busy every morning before I get out of bed :-)

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    1. What interesting possibilities you have for what's going on with your birds in the cedar. No telling what they do while you're sleeping.

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  4. How fun to see that "bird's eye view." It is fascinating how they're so fastidious and particular in how they build their nests. I love chickadees. Ours here in the north are slightly different--the back-capped chickadees. That's probably the species you had in Connecticut?

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    1. Neat and masterful, those birds are. Interesting that I didn't get good looks at chickadees in Connecticut – partly because the birdhouse I had was for bluebirds and bluebirds grabbed it first.

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  5. I have often wondered how birds learn to build such intricately woven nests. Must be in the genes. It will be fun to see if your chickadees have offspring. It is nice that you have a plexiglass viewing window.

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    1. I tell you that see-through window is clever and fascinating.

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  6. Hey my old friend, the birds are finally back in ct. I have cat birds nesting in the conifer by the stream, doves and robins nesting on one of the poles behind the pole barn, another Robin nesting on the front porch, orioles in the front yard on their feeder, bluebirds in their houses, a squirrel nesting in the girls clubhouse, and oh yeah the hummers are back too. The only thing missing is you guy's. Miss ya.

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    Replies
    1. Heyyy, Harry. How great to hear you're still the Bird Man of Beebe Road in East Haddam. Your Connecticut birds are most impressive. Annnd, unlike my bluebirds, *yours* claim their houses. I miss all that. Too, I miss having you as a neighbor and gardening bud. Cheers!

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