Friday, June 17, 2011

A new family of wrens

This tiny house wren flies up to the next box that one of my friends (and my pottery guru, mentor and teacher) has put on the fence. At first the wrens wouldn't go near the box when I first tried to take pictures. They would sing a warning song, short burbling burst of melody. So I posted myself right against the house, trained the camera on the nest box and got lucky!

I haven't ever caught such a clear shot of a bird in flight before.

This comes from learning the lesson that Steve Creek who has a wonderful nature blog Steve Creek Outdoors as well as another just on birds - Bird Tog - posts on his site: patience, observation, passion!

As for the wren family. The eggs were laid a couple or more weeks ago and "Dad" has been feeding "Mum" while she sat on the nest.

Yesterday it was obvious that the eggs were hatching. I watched one of the birds remove a fecal sac from the nest and one arrive with a huge insect in its mouth. Fascinating to see how there was always one bird standing guard - they knew I was nearby and didn't trust me not to predate the babies.

Obviously, the birds finally got used to me being the watcher, and responded to the need to feed the hatchlings.

Speaking of hatchlings, I got a surprise  the other day when I went by a nest box in my pasture. Urgent tweets and calls from tree swallow nestlings poured forth. They must have thought that mum or dad were near by and wanted their little bellies to be filled. When I tapped the box, the silence "was deafening."

There are lots of bugs flying around and the babies keep all the parents very busy. Fun to watch the comings and goings, the eternal hunt for food and the occasional stop for a rest for tired parents.

Each bird family is busy at this time of year, as are the rest of the northern hemisphere critters. In the southern hemisphere of course you are preparing for winter, or what passes for winter if you live near the equator. I often wonder what that would be like, to live where it is summer year round?

But here Spring bubbles over with activity, growth and the excitement of new life.

I just hope the tree swallows remove a few more of those pesky blackflies... they have made my life less than pleasant this year.

That's a small price to pay for the beauty and joy in the outdoors at this time of year.


  1. You did good my friend! I would love to be photographing all that activity.

  2. Coming from you Mr. Steve Creek - that's the ultimate compliment, thanks for putting a smile in my day!