Wren nesting in bookcase-
by Lori Grinstead-Sparrow
Discovering the empty nest!
Up until now, I've never been a bird watcher. I never knew how interesting birds can be, or how excited i could get over them. I also didn't realize that yes, I DO actually have 2 extra hours a day that I can fill with watching my new friends.
Well, I guess in regards to that last sentence, it depends on who you ask..lol
Sometime during the beginning of our spring here in middle Georgia, I noticed what I soon would learn were house wrens, sleeping under my carport, in various eaves. No nest, which I thought was strange. Remember, up until now, I've not been a "bird "person".
I had anywhere from 3-4 wrens that were showing up every night, just as the sun was beginning to set, which was also strange to me, it not being dark out yet. Usually two would sleep on the left and right eave, and one or two would sleep on the eaves in the front of my house.
I would sit under my carport, and watch them as the came in. My 8 year old son thought it was very funny, because to him, the wrens looked like they were being punished for some minor bird infraction, and were sitting with their beaks facing the corner, in birdie "time out". Sometimes, I would set my alarm a little early, and go outside just before sunrise, so I could watch them as they were waking up and leaving.
began to notice that the wrens were "hanging out" in an oak tree, before they would come under the carport. In the beginning, it seemed that all but one of them, would wait until I had gone inside my home, before they would come under.
But the biggest of the clan never seemed to mind if I was outside, in my rocking chair, near by. I think it was a male, because of it's size. He would sometimes fly down, very near to me and sit on my BQ grill, before retiring for the night. I found myself having bird "conversation" with him, daily. At this point, my son began to think that maybe it's time for mommy to have more adult time with her friends. HA.
After several weeks, I noticed that only he and another wren, were coming to stay the night. I don't know why the others stopped, but now I suspect it had something to do with the nest building that would soon begin.
As i was leaving for work one morning, I noticed what looked like the beginning of a birds nest, in an antique bookshelf, that was being used to house some my sons outside toys. I would see what I believed to be the male, in and out, working on the nest..Before long, I noticed another nest in a nearby sapling, and another in my front loropetalum. I've never seen so many nest at one time in and around my yard...
One day, it seemed that the male wren and a smaller wren, were both frequenting the nest. Then it was just the smaller one, which I now know is the female. She seemed to be concentrating on this nest a great deal.
I thought I could help her by placing some cotton, torn pieces of newspaper, and string, nearby. But she didn't use anything that I had placed out for her, in the finishing of this nest.
I was so tickled when she started spending time in the nest. I noticed her spending what I thought to be a lot of time in it. It seemed that she was used to my presence, seeing that I had to walk by her, going and coming from my door into my home.
She didn't seem nearly as vocal as she was in the beginning. It was during this time that I noticed the male wren wasn't sleeping up on the eave anymore, which saddened me. But I do think it was he that I spotted near by in the oak tree.
It seemed as if he became MORE vocal than in the beginning, almost sounding like he was telling me to back off! And I thought that we had become friends....go figure.
It wasn't very long when I saw the four little eggs in the nest...I couldn't tell if the brown specks were part of the egg or poop. They just looked dirty. We were so excited.
Everyday, she spent time on her eggs, and didn't seem to mind me as much as in the beginning. One Saturday, 19 days after noticing the eggs, she spent most of the day in her nest.. I just had a strange feeling, like she was in "bird labor", or whatever it's called. Remember, I'm new at this.
As usual, when I walked by,, I would peek into the nest to check on things. This particular day, momma bird came flying out of the nest and almost bopped me between my eyes! Momma bird, what is going on with you? Now, I know. The next morning, I couldn't believe my eyes when I see four of the most ugliest, but at the same time cutest, very tiny, amazing baby birds.
I thought my son was going to cry. I just wanted to hug momma bird so bad. They were so cute laying in there. It wasn't long before I hear what sounded like another "back off" call, so we went inside and watched from the window...it looked like momma bird was in the nest and daddy bird was feeding her!! Good daddy.
I check on these babies every day. They are 12 days old. They are growing so fast, I never knew it possible to grow so fast. They now have fuzzy all over them, and the bright slits (that looked fluorescent yellow/orange with my flashlight, are now open and reveal the darkest eyes I've ever seen.
Daddy bird still hangs out in the oak tree, but not as much. Momma bird, it seems has slacked up, and doesn't seem to mind me nearby the babies.
If my son is outside, momma bird will sit on the grill with usually a piece of worm hanging from her mouth, and loudly voice her disapproval, until he comes inside. Then she will go into the nest.
On the contrary, when I am outside, she will go into the nest and I watch the feeding. Every time the baby birds hear me as I go by, they open up their beaks like they think it's suppertime.
I don't know how long they will be here, before leaving the nest. I don't know if they instinctively know how to fly away, or if momma bird has to help/teach them. But I'm looking forward to watching and learning. And I hope that they hang around, because they have become my friends and I love all of them!
I can't believe this! I went out to take a picture for this, and the nest is empty! I feel like I'm going to cry! They were just there this morning! They're only 2 weeks old! I don't hear them. Or the momma bird, or daddy bird. Where are my babies?