Tag Archives: House Wren

Spring Has Sprung!

I was out hanging my bed on the line, enjoying the sunshine, listening to bird song and I looked around and realized, “This is it! Spring has arrived!” It brought a smile to my face.  Below are some of the things that assure me Spring has settled in.

The American Goldfinch's mottled molt has gone from this...

The American Goldfinch’s mottled molt has gone from this…

to this, a bright, brilliant yellow.

to this, a bright, brilliant yellow.

The earthworms are up in the top layer of soil, churning away.

The earthworms are up in the top layer of soil, churning away.

My Grape Hyacinths have burst into bloom.

My Grape Hyacinths have burst into bloom.  (Those little round lumps on the dead Hyacinth stalks are young seed pods!)

My late Daffys are blooming too.

My late Daffys are blooming too.

My Lilac bush has begun to bloom, but this year there are only a small hand full of blooms.  Did the late freeze kill them off?

My Lilac bush has begun to bloom, but this year there are only a small hand full of blooms. Did the late freeze kill them off?

Not to be out done, the yard is full of wild violets giving the grass a purple haze.

Not to be out done, the yard is full of wild violets giving the grass a purple haze.

And where would spring be without the ubiquitous dandelion!

And where would spring be without the ubiquitous dandelion!

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But you know what really nailed it for me today?  The bold and sassy song of the male House Wren calling the ladies to come investigate his awesome abode.  My son painted a small birdhouse many years ago and we hung it on our front porch.  Every year since we have raised at least one, but often two, broods of baby wrens.  A bold and curious bird, it has no problem setting up house next to us humans.  The babies when they fledge will get into and all over anything we have on the porch.  My houseplants have taken a beating some years when the babies decided they were ‘toys’ for their amusement.  Say ‘Hello!’ to Mr. Wren:

Look carefully!  You can see the a stick he is bringing to build the nest.  But can you also see the sticks on the left sticking out from under the eves?  He will push and shove some very long twigs until they snap or slide out of the sides of the birdhouse.  When he's done there will twigs sticking out of both sides of the birdhouse.  Male wrens will build a couple of nesting sites to offer the ladies.  The female wren will decide which she prefers and will put the finishing touches on the nest.

Look carefully! You can see the a stick he is bringing to build the nest. But can you also see the sticks on the left sticking out from under the eves? He will push and shove some very long twigs until they snap or slide out of the sides of the birdhouse. When he’s done there will twigs sticking out of both sides. Male wrens will build a couple of nesting sites to offer the ladies. The female wren will decide which she prefers and will put the finishing touches on the nest.

Will this be The One?  A female wren checking his work.

Will this be The One? A female wren checking his work.

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I hope where ever you are in the northern hemisphere, Spring is finally showing her face to you as well!

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Winter Bird Picture Round-up

The Juncos and Mourning Doves sharing spilled grain.  They prefer to eat on the ground rather than at the feeders.

The Juncos and Mourning Doves sharing spilled grain. They prefer to eat on the ground rather than at the feeders.

Well, life went crazy last spring and I never seemed to ‘catch-up’ as it were.  So I have all these photos in my ‘Blog Photo File’ that never made it into a post.  So I’m going to give you a line-up of the winter bird photos left with no home.  🙂

An early fall picture of a female Downy Woodpecker.  One of our year round residents.

An early fall picture of a female Downy Woodpecker. One of our year round residents. The males actually do most of the brooding on the nest.

The Tufted Titmouse is a bold little bird that has been known to pull hair from sleeping dogs, cats, and squirrels to line their nests with.

The Tufted Titmouse is a bold little bird that has been known to pull hair from sleeping dogs, cats, and squirrels to line their nests with.

I have not always been thrilled with Blue Jays.  I've seen them tear apart other birds' nests.  But they are very engaging and lovely birds.  I had one Blue Jay that had learned to imitate a dog's growl.  And when I would sit outside on the bank near the feeders, he would come down to a low branch on the tree and growl at me!

I have not always been thrilled with Blue Jays. I’ve seen them tear apart other birds’ nests. But they are very engaging and lovely birds. I had one Blue Jay that had learned to imitate a dog’s growl. And when I would sit outside on the bank near the feeders, he would come down to a low branch on the tree and growl at me!

Someone, probably a deer, had knocked the bird seed out of a feeder to the right out of frame.  So everyone was taking advantage of the extra.  It was so cold at this time that even hot water poured into the birdbaths froze right up in less than an hour.

Someone, probably a deer, had knocked the bird seed out of the feeder to the right. So everyone was taking advantage of the extra. It was so cold at this time that even hot water poured into the birdbaths froze right up in less than an hour.

The Northern Cardinal.  We usually have at least 5 mated pairs using our yard.  These are the birds that tell me, with a special type of chirp, that night is falling.

The Northern Cardinal. We usually have at least 5 mated pairs using our yard. These are the birds that tell me, with a special type of chirp, that night is falling.

A Black-capped Chickadee and a House Wren squabble over lunch.

A Black-capped Chickadee and a House Wren squabble over lunch.

This Red-bellied Woodpecker has just put a sunflower seed into the hole at his feet.

This Red-bellied Woodpecker has just put a sunflower seed into the hole at his feet.

Now he is pecking it apart in order to eat it.  Since he started doing this, and, no doubt, widened the hole; many other birds now use this hole for hulling sunflowers!

Now he is pecking it apart in order to eat it. Since he started doing this, and, no doubt, widened the hole; many other birds now use this hole for hulling sunflower seeds!

The Mourning Doves all huddled in the tree on cold winter morning.  Hopefully, I won't be able to take any more pictures like this for at least another six or seven months!

The Mourning Doves all huddled in the tree on a cold winter morning. Hopefully, I won’t be able to take any more pictures like this for at least another six or seven months!

 

 

Hmmmmm, Lazy Day (And I’m Sleep Deprived Again)

Random Thoughts

So I was working on putting things back together when life went sideways again.  One I can talk about the other I can’t.  The one I can talk about is the cat situation.  My son left for college (I have to figure out how to blur faces in the photos before I post on that).  But the cat that normally sleeps with the kids now has no one to sleep with.  So Annie now wants to sleep with me.  However, Raven is the cat that has always slept with me.  And for whatever reason, maybe Raven accidentally jumped on Annie or Annie accidentally jumped on Raven, they will no longer share the bed.  As in, they are now fighting viciously.  And the worst fights are at night.  Some of them on top of me in bed.  It’s been getting ugly and I am sooooo sleep deprived.

The usual yelling at them to knock it off and separating them hasn’t been working at all.  In fact, it seemed to make things worse.  While Raven is twice the size of Annie, he is a major weenie.  He began hissing and yowling every time he saw her and then he would run and, of course, instinct being what it is, she would go after him.  AAARRGGHH!!!

This has led to some bathroom accidents and Annie not getting enough food because Raven was hiding in the bathroom where the dry food is.  I went surfing on the net and found others who have had a radical change in old cat behavior.  Unfortunately, the way that has worked the best, treating the cats like they have never met before; won’t work here because Raven can’t stand closed doors.  So separating them with a door between them isn’t possible.

So, I’ve been turfing Raven out of the bathroom (he then hid in the kitchen), taking them both into the livingroom and sitting between them playing referee, gently bopping any bad actors on the nose, petting and praising, handing treats out in a group setting for no reason other than to get them in the same place behaving themselves  (I have as third cat, Espe, who is not happy with all the violence), and being obvious in petting and playing with everyone.

Things are better, but not good.  Annie seems to have won bed rights for now.  Raven is moving around more comfortably without constantly throwing a fit and slinking from room to room.  We still have a long ways to go, but the nights are settling down.  Good heavens I need sleep.  I keep waking up and listening for trouble.  *Sheesh*  It’s really screwing with my days.  I don’t function well without sleep.  So wish me luck on the cat and sleep front.

Life At Our House

Now add bills, paperwork, critter care, yard care, and home caring to the above.  Did I mention how well I don’t function in a sleep deprived state?  So I need to sit down and come up with a schedule.  Again.  With sleep as the headliner.  Onward, ho!

I have been trying to enjoy the last of this year’s tomatoes and basil.  Bruschetta!

On homemade sourdough!

On homemade sourdough!

And I decided that we needed junk food, so I tried a new recipe for Apple Coffee Cake.  It was only ‘okay’.  It needed less brown sugar on top and more apples in the middle.  But it only lasted two days between the two of us! 🙂

More apples!

More apples!

Fur Babies and Other Friends

A lazy day at our house.

Espe.  Who kept batting the camera every time I got close.

Espe. Who kept batting the camera every time I got close.

Raven trying out my son's bed.  Where he has never ever slept.

Raven trying out my son’s bed. Where he has never ever slept.

Annie.  Who was unimpressed with getting her picture taken.

Annie. Who was unimpressed with getting her picture taken.

Jake.  Still alive, amazingly, and hanging around on the couch.

Jake. Still alive, amazingly, and hanging around on the couch.  Notice my toes and the toes of my ‘shadow’ who was supervising.

And even though it rained all day yesterday, Mr. Toad spent nearly 2 hours just soaking in the water dish.  Go figure.

And even though it rained all day yesterday, Mr. Toad spent nearly 2 hours just soaking in the water dish. Go figure.

Out In The Yard

My son made a bird house many years ago when he was little.  We hung it on the porch and every year since, we have had House Wrens raise a brood, sometimes two.

We had our usual nesting pair this year, but they only raised one brood, so we thought we were done.  However, about 3 weeks ago, we got a surprise one morning.  A pair of Carolina Wrens had raised a brood in our porch bird house, quietly, without us noticing.  Now if you know anything about wrens, you know that quiet isn’t a word you would normally apply to them.  But they managed it!  I tried to get pictures of the 4 babies as they fledged and explored the porch.  But they wouldn’t sit still long enough AND I was trying to shoot through the screen door.  So this was the best I could do.

Sit still, dammit!

Sit still, dammit!

They had an audience.

They had an audience.

Mug of the Day

An oldie but goodie.

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Tonight’s goal is to be in bed by 1:30.  Wish me luck!