Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Families

I am seeing the blue birds and the wrens flitting here and there with bugs in their mouths. Their eggs have hatched and the young are demanding food...although very quietly it seems.  One wren's nest has at least two and more than likely three little ones with feathers starting and big yellow mouths.  


Ethel, our female osprey, still sits patiently on her eggs and Fred brings her a nice cold slimy fish each morning for breakfast.  He sometimes joins her for a brief time in the afternoon and they perhaps discuss budgets and tuition costs and the long trip to their winter home in the fall.  He does bring in a stick or bit of swamp grass every other day.  I think he is feeling guilty that she bears the burden during this time of family.  He probably tucks it to her side and asks if she doesn't think it adds a certain ambiance that was missing and then smiles nervously.


I heard two blue jays screaming and crying the other morning and went outside to investigate.  They were flying around a hollow tree that had been investigated earlier in the spring by two blue birds.  Also flying and crying were two red bellied woodpeckers and two cardinals!  They were not fighting with each other,  just throwing a fit over something.  I did not see a snake but perhaps one had climbed that high and was now eating someone's young or someone's eggs inside the hole in the trunk.


This black racer was slithering across one of our patio chairs during dinner one early evening and scaring the unskilled wren who had once again built her nest in the upside down kayak!  We did not attempt a rescue this year.  Since the kayak was upside down the nest would be thrown free if we tried to turn the boat and remove it from the snake and we had no place else to put the nest if we were successful.  I lectured the snake on the nutritional value of mice (six of which I have trapped in my basement) and the value of voles (which have begun to ruin one of my flower beds), but I do not think he cared.  A bird in the nest is worth six in the house.

The cardinal seems to have returned to that little maple near my bay window.  But unlike the wren that lets everyone within a mile know where her nest is by singing loudly as she rests on the front porch of her home, this cardinal is a stealth builder.  First I saw a few grasses, then the base of the nest grew in size and now a very nice bowl is formed.  I have NEVER seen the cardinal, though.   The nest is well hidden as would be the bird with the coloring of the maple.  This is such great camouflage.  If you look in the center left of the photo below you may see the gray blur that is the nest.




This morning I looked inside that nest and found two eggs!  I took a quick snapshot and left fearing she would return while I was there.    Looks like a fun time ahead.



14 comments:

Brian Miller said...

the babies are so cute...eek on the black racer...that looks huge...killed a couple copperheads this week around our place...with the boys is just cant take the chances...

your comment today totally made me lose it...haha...

Red said...

Interesting comment on the wrens. Wrens can be a nasty piece of business. They go after eggs in other nests. Now I don't think they'd have a chance with that snake!

chris said...

looks like you're going to have an interesting spring with all those bird babies! oh, the black racer - the stuff of nightmares...nice shot, though!

chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Granny Annie said...

So excited about the Osprey offspring. It looks like their parents advised them to be wary of you.

I am hopeful the snake heeded your advice about the other choices of nourishment.

I am always relieved when a new batch of chicks are finally able to nest higher at night with the mother hen. I know a snake can still get them in the nest box but at least I feel there is less chance than when they are sleeping on the hen house floor.

Granny Annie said...

I was so wrong. You had mentioned in a previous post that it would be easier for you to get a photograph once the Osprey eggs were hatched and I saw baby birds and the word Osprey and...well...Oops. Cute baby birds anyway. READ CAREFULLY BEFORE COMMENTING I sez to myself.

Kat said...

That is so neat!
We have been watching a robin's nest that a mother bird made in a small tree right next to our house. She had three eggs in it and was such a good mama. Then a couple of days ago I noticed she wasn't in her nest and I discovered that in the wind storm the night before the next had slipped out of its spot in the tree. So sad. I was seriously upset about it. Poor mama robin. :( Nature is so harsh.

Dave King said...

This is such a lovely post. Exactly the sort I delight to read. So much going on. Thanks for it.

Pauline said...

I've never ever seen a baby cardinal. I hope you get more photos as the eggs hatch!

Dave said...

Great blog Tabor. You write lovingly about the creatures you see, and it's obvious that you love them. Good for you. We love most living things too, except maybe flies and cockroaches - Dave

Kappa no He said...

I hope the snake listened to your lecture. And I can't wait to see the hatched eggs too.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Isn't it fun to watch the little bird families this time of year? We now have 5 Bluebird eggs in the Bluebird nest again... We put a new baffle on the pole hoping to keep the family safe... Still not sure what happened to the other family--but we think it was a snake...

Great pictures... OH---loved your comment on my blog today!!!!!! ha
Hugs,
Betsy

Shrinky said...

Ye Gods, I've never encountered a real live snake out in the wilds (or in my back yard)..!

Loved the domestic scene you conjured of the hunter/gatherer decorating the nest, so endearing. I think you must tame these birds to be allowed up so close - these are magical captures.

Hilary said...

So much activity around your place. Those wee ones are adorable and hopefully we'll get to see some baby cardinals too.