Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bird Nests

The birds have been busy filling Blue Jay Barrens with nests. This is the nest of the Eastern Phoebe. No eggs yet, but it won’t be long. There probably would have been eggs if it hadn’t taken me a week to convince the pair that the front porch was not the place for a nest. They used to nest there years ago and half the nests failed because of some disturbance in the night. Usually, it was my late return home from some work-related meeting on a cold spring night. I never turned on any lights, but no matter how quiet I was, the sitting bird would leave the nest and the young would die from exposure.

A few years ago I decided that I would thwart any efforts to nest on the porch. When the birds arrived, I made sure that every possible nesting platform was unusable. At the sight of the frustrated Phoebes, I hastily erected this nesting platform for their use. The basic foundation is a squirrel corn feeder and for an added sense of security, I tacked a board on the outside of the feeding platform. The whole thing is attached to the house by two heavy hooks that slide between the top of the bricks and the soffit and catch on the back side of the brick. The platform is held securely and is also easy to remove for cleaning. The Phoebes nest here every year, but only after we’ve had the battle for the porch.

The Mourning Doves went overboard with courtship displays this spring and I guess some successful pairings were accomplished. This nest was constructed in a cedar and was only five feet off the ground. Dove nests are fairly easy to find. The Dove usually doesn’t flush until you get close and then it causes quite a disturbance in making its get-away.

The Carolina Wrens just finished this clutch of five eggs. This is actually a reuse of last year’s nest. The pair spent the winter roosting here, so I never cleaned the nest out of the box. Two or three broods of wrens fledge from this nest every year.

The wrens nest in a cardboard nest box attached to a post in my garage. I used to have projects delayed every summer because the wrens would put their nest in a box of tools or on a piece of equipment that I needed to use. I would then have to wait for the pair to raise their young before I could remove the nest and get on with my work. One spring I took some small boxes about 4 X 6 X 10 inches in size, cut a slot in the end and put them up in my garage and barn. The wrens went to them right away. Now they nest in the boxes through the summer, roost there during the winter and never get in my tools.

Tree Swallows have claimed three nest boxes and are getting their nests in order. They’ve managed to find a few suitable feathers with which to line the nests. Eggs shouldn’t be long in coming.

Bluebirds are busily filling their nests with eggs. Four boxes hold Bluebird nests with some eggs. No Bluebirds were actually in any of the boxes, so incubation may not have begun.

1 comment:

  1. ♥ I really love birdie nests - all kinds!Your innovative nesting solutions are very clever!

    It's soggy and cold here and I want to check my boxes, but am a little nervous. I'm hoping they waited until after the snow to lay their eggs!