Finches, sparrows, wrens, flycatchers, silver cardinals, ladderback woodpeckers, doves, quail, and several different varieties of hummers all frequent the yard. A vermilion flycatcher has been spotted and in April several pairs of Bullock's orioles will nest in the mesquites.We also have a pair of roadrunners, Prairie falcons, and Great Horned owls that claim Casa Wallace as part of their hunting territory.
With so many birds converging on us, there are a few stories to share about our bird adventures. I'll share the latest.
Since this is nesting season, we've seen birds toting sticks and bits of dead grass in their beaks. This includes the curved bill thrashers which are ordinary looking brown birds (about robin size) that have curved beaks--so the name makes sense. They're rather bold and not very shy with people. Mr. and Mrs. Thrasher decided to build a nest in the grill of the pickup this week. They did a magnificient job four or five different times. My husband removed each nest , hoping they'd take the hint. A mobile nest isn't a great idea. We finally attached an old sheet to the front of the truck and let it flap in the breeze to keep them away. Satisfied that they'd resort to a more traditional setting for a nest, like the cactus garden, we relaxed.
However, they had other ideas and the moment the garage door opened, they flew in and began building another nest in the wheel of my husband's bicycle that hangs on the wall. I chased them out and closed the door. When I reopened it and began my workout on the elliptical, the pair of thrashers sat on the mesquite tree near the door watching me. The male looked quite annoyed that he had been thwarted. After about 10 minutes they flew away. We're cautiously optimistic that they'll build in a safer place, but they've displayed real stubborness and not a whole lot of intelligence. I'm really doubtful of their parenting skills at this point.
Birds often make nests in strange places. One year, cactus wrens nested under the cap of the propane tank, quail nested in one of my lavender plants, finches always attempt to have one in the newspaper box, and thrashers had a low to the ground nest in a cholla cactus last year. It was easy viewing to watch the sassy little brown birds grow and finally fly away.
So where have birds built nests where you live? Any odd places? Looking forward to seeing some comments this week about your feathered friends or perhaps foes. Oh great! I just looked out the front window and the flickers are sucking the hummingbird feeder dry. More bird challenges ahead.
|Properly located nest in the cactus|
|The Thrasher collecting more nest material.|