I’ve been finding it kind of hard to write, these past few weeks.

I keep getting distracted by the Bird Nursery.

You can see and/or hear twenty-five different species of birds in my back garden. No kidding; I counted. Apart from weird things, like the juvenile great blue heron, most of them are pretty commonplace. Not that great blue herons are unusual, except usually in my garden. Other odd visitors were the pair of mallard ducks, and the wild turkey. I didn’t include those three in my species count.

We have four nesting boxes/birdhouses around the property. At the current time, we have bluebirds in one, black-capped chickadees in another, and house wrens in a third. I think the fourth one didn’t attract any tenants this year.

It’s the last week in May, and all the nestlings are fledging. Like, all at once.

Blue Boy, the male bluebird, is a territorial and pugnacious little guy. He chases the blue jays away from the feeders. He chases everybody away from the feeders. I think he’s charming, but he’s also a Messy Male. He throws the feed out of the seed table I’ve set up outside my studio. He leaves the nestlings’ fecal sacs all over the place. He likes to fly up to the ventilation cupola on the roof of our house and drop them there. We could use some rain…

Gentleman Johnny, the male cardinal, and his mate (uh… Lady Jane?) are much neater. I’m not sure whether they have chicks in a nest someplace, since I she always seems to be with him. Maybe she has a babysitter.

The male house wren sits in the trees outside the birdhouse where his brood is and sings his heart out every day. I love listening to him. His song is this warbling trill that goes on and on. Sometimes the blue jays arrive at the seed table together and he’ll sing to her while she scarfs down mealworms. How sweet. I didn’t realise that blue jays actually have a rather pretty, fluting song. Usually I only hear them jeering.

And just this week, the Bird Circus showed up. On Thursday evening, an entire troupe of fledgling finches descended on the back garden, both house finches and goldfinches together. They are a riot. It’s like the Blue Angels meet the Flying Wallendas. They all go swooping around in arial gymnastics, hovering like hummingbirds over the seed table or the birdbath, and chattering at each other the entire time.

We can hear the bluebird nestlings squeaking when the parents bring food. I asked my older son the other day, ‘Do you think baby birds think of their parents as anything other than food dispensers?’ He just sort of looked at me, and I said, ‘Then again, do baby humans think of their parents as anything other than food dispensers?’ He’s going to be twenty in August. Thankfully he didn’t say, ‘But isn’t that what you are?’ (But he probably thought it.)

I took this photo this afternoon with the camera lens zoomed WAAAY in. This is one of the bluebird chicks.  

I suppose they’re going to be the next distraction. Any day now. 



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