Friday, April 28, 2017

Birds and Birdhouses

A glimpse of the birdhouses we have in our yard:

This is a "gourd" birdhouse made from a volunteer squash that I didn't know was there
until I found it really late in the year.  We hollowed it out and let it dry. 
So far, nothing has moved in, but it is cute.

This is a birdhouse that my mom gave us.  The base of it is decorated with a horse's saddle.  I love the way it looks with the crabapple in the background.

Here are two birdhouses I made from the trimmings of my butterfly bush.  I tied them together with string to make walls.  Ugly, I know . . . but, lo and behold, something has actually filled them with sticks.  I believe it's the wrens.

I also transformed a birdfeeder into a birdhouse.  And wrens have been living in it for the past few years.  This is one of them moving sticks in this year: 

This is it struggling to get the stick in the door:

This is it looking at the stick it just dropped because it couldn't get it in the door: 
And this is the other one (the male, I believe), singing after he put a stick in the birdhouse.  He does this after every stick he contributes.  
And when he's not contributing sticks, he watches the female gather sticks while he sits up on the basketball hoop and sings.  He loves life.  And himself.  A lot.
The only houses that no wren has ever touched are the ones made for wrens, the kind you build from $6 kits.  We've had 3 of these for years and nothing has ever moved in.
This is our newest addition.  It looks so much like the Jellystone bungalows that we stay in when we go on vacation that my 7-year-old had to have it.  I think it turned out pretty good.  We just put it up and are waiting to see if anything moves in.  I just hope it's not sparrows.  (They are the rats of the bird kingdom.  I used to have a sparrow house, and they would have batches of babies every year.  And one year, a gang of 20 sparrows or so would fly around and scare everything else away.  And I began to wonder if it was time to move the sparrow house.) 
Did you know that birds can be lazy and irresponsible and suffer from separation anxiety?  The year I finally decided to move the sparrow house was the year that the overgrown male baby would not leave the birdhouse.  He sat up on the garage and screamed for hours for his mom and dad:
For hours on end. 
I kid you not, like 5 hours at a time of screaming for them.  He'd check the birdhouse, then sit on the garage and scream, then check the birdhouse, then get back on the garage and scream. 
ALL DAY LONG!  (I had a picture of him, but I think I deleted it.) 
And I think I know what happened to Mom and Dad ...
They got so sick of this lazy, irresponsible son who wouldn't move out of their basement that they just decided to give him the house.  And they moved out instead. 
"Oh, fine!  Just give him the house!  I can't take it anymore!!!"
And since Baby Boy had separation anxiety, he screamed for them for hours ... until I got so sick of it that I moved the sparrow house to the back of the yard when he left for a few moments.  
When he came back, he hung over the edge of the garage, looking for his house.  And then he screamed some more and flew away.  And never came back. 
(I'm not sorry!) 
But Mom and Dad did come back later to look for their house.  They even tried to fit into the wren house I put in its place.  But they couldn't fit, so they left.  I had hoped they would find their old house at the back of the yard, but it won't break my heart if they don't.  If they are raising good-for-nothing offspring like that, I'd rather they go somewhere else anyway.  
Oh wait!  I just found the pictures of him. 
Here he is, screaming his little heart out for the 3rd hour in a row:
And this is him looking for his birdhouse that I banished to the back of the yard:
(Notice the chickadee house on the left side of the garage.  They are sweet and polite, so they get to stay)
(Okay, I admit it:  These aren't the real photos of the sparrow.  I drew them.  I looked and looked for the real ones, but I'm think I deleted them even though I intended to save them.  So this will have to do.)

And here's a picture of the sweet, friendly chickadees.  They have been coming to that birdhouse every year since we moved in.  Love them!
(Notice the ball of deer-netting on top of the house.  I had to put that there because the sparrows would sit on the chickadee house and harass them.  Bullies!
Oh no, you don't!  Don't bother my sweet little chickadees!
"So... was it worth it, sparrows?  Huh?  Getting banished to the back of the yard!?!  Hope you're proud of yourself and the trouble you've caused!") 
And this is a pair of cardinals that has come to the birdfeeder every year.  I love watching them because the male always picks up seeds and feeds them to the female.  Every day!
This is them looking for seeds ...

This is him feeding a seed to her ...
And I just had to throw these pictures in because they're cool.  A couple years ago, there was a hawk tearing apart an animal in the neighbor's yard.  This is him guarding his prey when we stopped on the road to take his picture, only about 20 feet away.  Pretty neat!


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