Your Birdy High Point So Far This Year?
It is hot and humid here at Camp Nappy today and as I look out at the feeders my little Chickadeedeedee XX brain cell starts to wander. Good thing we have a fenced in yard, eh?
So many bird incidents so far this year. The Cardinal. The five Chimney Swifts in the kitchen, the Carolina Wrens, Olive the parrot, Claudia the Robin and sooooo many more moments. Hmmmmm...... What would be the highlight for me with the birdies?
It is almost like asking which of your children is the favorite isn't it? But if I were to choose one......
I do love my little House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon). About fifteen years ago our first nesting of House Wrens was tragic. I still remember it was July 4th and the temperature was a record breaking 104F. In the late afternoon the young wrens started popping out of their nest box. I think it just became too hot for them and they were not quite ready to fledge. One by one the came out and one by one the Grackles grabbed them and flew off with the young wrens.
I looked on in horror. All this happened within the span of a minute. I started yelling at the Grackles and tried to chase them away. I managed to pick up one little wren and placed him back in his nest box. Out he came again and was grabbed by another bold Grackle. I was so upset! Another little wren came out, the eighth and last, and fluttered to the grass.
Oh no! YOU are NOT going to become a late afternoon snack for the Grackles! I brought him inside. He was soooooo tiny! I fed him with the baby cereal mix we use for such birds. He was a most unique individual. I had him in a shallow tray with a heating pad under and over about half of it so he could move in and out depending if he wanted to get warmer or not. He would burrow under the towels and when I'd come in the room and ask where he was out he'd run from beneath the towels and happily greet me.
After getting fed and cuddled and played with I'd place him back in his tray and he'd bury himself in the towels again. He acted more like a mouse or ferret. Certainly I never met a bird of any kind that behaved like he did! I don't know why but he never flew either. There were no fractures or dislocations to his wings. He never showed the slightest interest in even trying to exercise his wings or flutter. Taking him outside he would run as fast as his little legs could carry him as he followed us on the patio or in the flower beds and grass.
As he got older he would sometimes sleep on top of the towels ... belly down ... legs outstretched behind him and both wings fully extended too! What kind of sleeping position is that for a bird?!?!?
At the age of 4 months he had two seizures and he died. I wonder if he had brain damage due to the excessive heat in the nest box. A heat stroke survivor perhaps?
Oh but he was the most precious little bird to have met on a one to one personal basis. He and my little Black-capped Chickadee will forever hold a special place in my heart.
So all this rambling down memory lane brings me to the highlight for me so far. In the nest box in the tri-coloured beech is a family of House Wrens. Papa Wren sings so beautifully and is ever watchful that no one or nothing gets too close. His happy cheery song turns to an annoyed chattering if you get too near his home.
He approaches his home with a beak-full of insects. If Mrs. Wren is inside he gives her the insects and it is up to her to feed the chicks. If she too is out "shopping" for insects, Mr. Wren gives the chicks their fill. (Or at least he tries.) The first nest of chicks have fledged and Mrs. Wren is sitting on a new clutch.
The House Wren will make "dummy nests" in available nest boxes too. He guards the nest he has built but there are no eggs inside. Perhaps a way to decrease competition for his family? The House Wrens are not very shy. Certainly not as pushy as the Hummingbirds who will swoop down on you if they feel you deserve it. LOL!
No picture but may I share his song?
The House Wren is about in the center of the list.
Sorry. I didn't mean to make this an epic novel.
I'd love to hear of your highlight bird,or animal, be it in the garden, on vacation, a chance sighting or a visitor. Something tells me there may be even better news and bird experiences just around the corner! :-)