Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Nimble Little Musician

Don’t laugh at me.

This morning I was elated to discover that a little Carolina Wren had chosen to begin building a nest in a bird house I had purchased in May.  I had seen a decorative bird house that I fell in love with while visiting a friend at the beach in April.  The homeowner had placed the birdhouse on a 6-foot pedestal near the side entrance to their house and I decided I wanted to do the same thing.

I never expected when I installed the “Wing and a Prayer Cathedral” bird house two-and-a-half months ago that it would ever be occupied because my acre lot is loaded with trees and is abutted by farm land in the rear providing what I thought were more suitable “natural” locations to build a nest.

I have always been fascinated by raptors like the bald eagle, the peregrine falcon et. al. and took our more common feathered friends for granted.

This morning was different.  I heard someone singing outside my door.  He was a very vocal fellow.  I was amazed at just how vocal he was when I saw his tiny size.  I included a comparison I found that shows their size compared to a tea cup in the photo above.

I had no idea what kind of bird he was so I jumped on the computer and started Googling small birds.  Was he a finch, a chickadee, sparrow?  Nope.  He was a Carolina Wren.  At first I thought he might have been a house wren, but I took out my binoculars and got a good look at the little thing and sure enough he had the markings of a Carolina Wren. They employ one of the loudest songs per volume of birds.  Believe me that’s a true statement.

I stood in the doorway watching him bring twigs to the bird house and wrestle with them to get them through the entry hole.  It only took a second for him to edge it in sideways and then he’d flit off for another and another.  At intervals he would pause and sing his little song.

I was mesmerized by how industrious he was and how unconcerned he was that I was so close to the bird house.

According to the information I found on the species, the breeding season runs from March to July.  Apparently, this will be his second nesting.

Carolina Wrens are monogamous, and breeding pairs may stay together for years. They work together to construct nests—which may be found almost anywhere. Wrens nest in natural locations such as branches, tree-holes, and stumps but also frequent windowsills, mailboxes or other attractive human-made spots.

So excited was I that I registered to become an official Nest Watcher for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  I will be recording data on the nest to include total eggs, total young and total fledglings and the fate of the nest.

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