Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring - The Write Time for Birds

Every couple of hours I opened the door and checked the light fixture. Each time, they’d been hard at it. I'd pull away the twigs and toss them over the railing. Poor sparrows. Each spring they attempt to nest at our front door. Over and over they put the teeny twigs back in place and over and over I clean them out. I admire their unrelenting determination but that’s as far as it goes.

One spring we didn’t check the front entrance for a whole day. Uh oh. We were too late. How do they work so fast? Of course, once the nest is occupied we leave them alone and that door is out of commission. The front entrance is an unsightly mess until they abandon their nest.

One year the silly birds nested in the wreath that was hanging on the door. Actually, aside from having a nasty white-streaked door, it was pretty neat. I could stand at the window and get a birdseye view at feeding time.
Most of the trees and bushes on the property have nests. Cardinals, doves, sparrows, robins, finches. The cover photo on my Facebook page is a picture I took last year of a dove in her nest. Look closely and see the two baby birds she's sitting on. Love that picture.

The blue jays don’t normally nest at our place. I’m glad. They can be downright nasty if you get close to their babies, which can happen innocently during spring pruning. More than a few times, a bird has scared me by flying out of a bush and directly into my face.
Normally, I take a cautious peek into the centre of the tree or the inside branches of a bush. One time I forgot to look. I was snipping and clipping a rather large ninebark diablo when I noticed two little babies watching me. Their mom was nowhere around. Relieved that I hadn’t frightened them out of their nest prematurely, I gathered up my tools and wheeled my debris-filled cart to a different area. Yes, the bush looked a little lopsided for a time.

Occasionally the silly killdeer lay eggs in the gravel driveway. One year we put bricks around the eggs to protect them. Every time we walked near them, the mother would do the look at my broken wing trick and stagger to the grass until she led us away from the eggs and then she’d fly off. 

One spring, we had a duck nest in the centre of our circle drive at the base of a bush. I can’t remember how many eggs now but there were lots. Early one morning the mom led the little ducklings all in a row across the lawn to the creek.

That brings to mind Buddy the rooster. Often when my husband was working in the vegetable garden, a rooster from across the road would come over for a visit. Marv named him Buddy. He’d say, ‘Here comes Buddy’, and the white rooster would be making his way across the back lawn. Buddy liked tomatoes but he was good about it. Rather than take a bite out of each one, he’d eat a whole tomato and then be on his way. It was comical. Then the visits stopped. We could only wonder about Buddy's fate.

Country living is for the birds.

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