Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Speak of the Devil...

Monday I wrote about the house wrens in the yard, and the bluebirds that scouted early in the spring and went on their way because the accomadations weren't ready. Well, yesterday morning a pair of bluebirds turned up to scout for the second nesting! I don't think there's much chance that they could take a house from the wrens at this point, but it was nice to see them.

Meantime the wrens continue to sing, and now one of them has started to renovate the house on the stump.

Wren renovation

Male house wrens entice females by finding suitable nesting cavities and filling them with twigs. When a female accepts the spot, she rebuilds the nest to her liking, but the final product is a pretty stick-filled affair. In the picture you can see that a twig is sticking out of the house today where there was none on Monday. Males will also take on two females (two nests) if they can, but it's pretty clear that there are at least two males in the yard right now.

I also got out on the walk yesterday, in spite of the smog, heat, humidity, mosquitoes and deer flies, but I couldn't linger as long as I like to, so didn't see a whole lot. The chestnut-sided warbler is singing, along with the American redstart, the common yellow throat, and the multitude of sparrows. I did see a king bird, but there was no activity at the nest in the old apple tree. I'll have to keep an eye on it, but I am concerned that the nest may have failed, as many nests located where they can easily be seen seem to.

Walking back I was struck by the growth in the area I call "the scrape," because topsoil is taken off regularly, and earth is piled for the taking the next year. There is usually a scruff of weeds across the scraped earth by this time of the year, but this year the growth seems very lush.

Last year this was a bare, scraped patch of earth and a mound of piled up topsoil--just look at it now!

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