Posts Tagged ‘bird nests’

I’m not the only one building things around here, as it turns out.

Just six feet from the sliding glass door on our back patio, a hummingbird has chosen to construct her nest atop a very small wind chime, hanging under the eaves next to the house wall.

And at the edge of the patio, just 12 feet or so from the door, the birdhouse hung under the shade roof eaves is hosting the pair of canyon wrens for the second year in a row.  Construction is in full swing on both nests, despite my constant presence and movement in the yard as I continue to work on terracing the back hill.

I’m delighted, and honored, to have them both here.  It seems a little close to our bumbling human activity, but who am I to judge?  Birds know what birds need.  Neither species seems to be excessively bothered by our presence, carrying on with their nest-building right in front of us; we do, however, give them the courtesy of quieting down our movements when they’re up at their nests or moving to and fro. 

The canyon wrens are now at the small twig stage, having started last week with large (for them) branches, tugged into the small hole, to fill the bottom of the box.  Now they’re just bringing in short, slender twigs, I presume to finish off the inside of the nest.  Every now and then though, one of them will try to cram in a branchy twig that gets caught on the front of the birdhouse, and it’s rather comical to see how many times they’ll try to push it in against all odds.  Persistent builders, these birds.

I had to research the habits of nesting hummingbirds a bit, to find out how many eggs they lay, how long it takes to hatch them, and when the youngsters fledge.  Turns out it’s two eggs that take 16 – 18 days to hatch, and a couple more weeks for the naked hummer babies to grow feathers and figure out how to fly.  It’ll be interesting to watch, if Mrs. Hummer decides her nest location is safe enough where it is to go through with the whole process.

Last spring, just after I got back from Africa, the wrens were furiously feeding four clamerous chicks and after a few weeks, Bear and I were treated to the brief performance of the youngsters flying out of the nest box, one morning when we happened to be out on the patio at just the right moment.  It was very cool to watch.

My building project is moving along, one shovelful of excavated dirt at a time.  Update for y’all tomorrow, perhaps; the afternoon is slipping away and I must get back at it.

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