Happy Father’s Day!
On May 21, I got pictures of a Carolina wren nest we found that had four eggs in it. Fourteen days later, on June 5, we checked in to see how things were going. There was a sleeping baby–at least two sleeping babies! The other two we couldn’t see, but there was a chance that they were snuggled up underneath the others. They didn’t have feathers yet, so they needed to huddle together to keep warm. Still, there was also the possibility that the other two eggs didn’t hatch, or that the hatchlings didn’t make it. Here’s a photo of the front most sleeper (I drew a thin red circle around his little developing beak).
Today, we have confirmation that at least three of the fledglings survived! I wish I’d gotten a picture, but Nathan didn’t have his camera. There were three fluffy, grumpy-looking baby wrens (that’s how you tell, other than the fact that they waggle their wings, make a lot of noise, and beg for food), and they were being fed by Mommy (Daddy–whom we call Fattypants–was singing elsewhere). We are very excited to welcome these little ones!
Also, Carolina wrens usually breed twice in a summer, so hopefully there will be another batch in a few weeks!
UPDATE: It’s confirmed–there are three little ones, but there was one egg left in the nest, which means it probably was inviable. I’m glad those that hatched are all alive and happy! Here’s the egg that was left:
…thrilled to announce we stumbled onto our Carolina wrens’ nest (they found a cozy spot inside the cover of one of our generator’s propane tanks)! Mommy wasn’t happy when we came by to get a photo, of course–so we had to be quick which means these aren’t the best pix, but we’re hoping to see fledglings soon!
Lots of birders recall their “spark bird” – the sighting that gave them the bug to bird – fondly.
I don’t have a spark bird. I have a spark weekend.
There’s this neat bookstore in the nearby town of Bethel called Byrd’s Books. In this do-or-die time for independent book sellers—there’s a lot of competition out there from Amazon, mostly, but from other large outlets that sell books at a cut price as well, such as BJs and Costco—they constantly have to invent new ways to keep themselves alive.
One of the ways Byrd’s does this is through the creation of community. Alice works hard to host a number of interesting events. In late January, her newsletter heralded an introductory session to the Great Backyard Bird Count—an annual event that takes place around President’s Day Weekend. It’s when birders everywhere count the birds in their yards or anywhere else they visit, and make reports each day. The National Audubon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology then use these reports to create a real-time snapshot of local bird populations. In prior years, this count has been exceptionally helpful in noting increases and decreases in certain populations and, for example, how changing weather patterns have affected them.
I signed us up immediately—Nathan has been a birder for years, and I’ll admit I never understood the appeal of it, but it would be an interesting date for us. I was excited, because I knew Nathan would be; I also love going to lectures on just about anything, and I love participating in citizen science. Besides, maybe I could figure out what the heck it is he loves about sitting out on our back porch for hours watching birds.
Whatever it was Read the rest of this entry