New Neighbors, Nature Notes

About three years ago Ellen and I were in a shop that sells bird feeders and bird houses, and bought this small hanging birdhouse on a whim, thinking perhaps our resident Carolina Wrens might use it. We did see them using it as a winter roost occasionally, but they never nested in it. (By the way, there’s a hole in the side you can’t see in this view.)

We also sometimes have House Wrens in our area, and once about 15 years ago had a pair nest near our yard somewhere, but only that once. I’ve been hearing their bubbly songs a few yards away this spring, and twice this past week one was singing at the edge of our yard. I mentioned it to Ellen, and she’d heard it, too.

This morning at 5 AM I was awakened by the loud song of a House Wren singing right outside our bedroom window. “It must be nesting somewhere,” I thought, but the most obvious place didn’t occur to me.

When Ellen came down later, she spotted one on the house, and suddenly it was all clear. A few years late, but the birdhouse finally had residents. Now, wrens are hyperactive birds, always busy, always moving at high speed, like they’re on a high caffeine diet, and the pair were calling constantly and zipping around the yard and in and out of the house, keeping us and the cats entertained.

Soon a wren with twig in tow made it even more obvious that nest building was underway.

And later I noticed this litter of rejected twigs on the porch below the house. Wrens are enthusiastic nest builders, too. These may have been too big, or just not the perfect shape, who knows?

And, while the wrens keep an eye on us while we keep an eye on them, they seem fine with our proximity, a common trait with House Wrens, hence the name. We’re looking forward to seeing how the nesting goes, and enjoying the burbling songs for a while. It’s rather late for a first nest, so this might be their second of the spring already. Those wrens, always overachievers. Meanwhile, we haven’t heard a peep from the Carolina Wrens, so I don’t know what their reaction is, if any.


This is also the time of year when Box Turtles show up regularly in our yard, and I caught a good shot of this one coming around the side of the house this morning. We have to be careful, now, backing out of the garage to make sure there aren’t any turtles in the driveway. I know in some areas they’ve been largely wiped out by cars on busy roads, I’m glad we still have some here.

Finally, our Water Lily has bloomed in the pond, a bloom that will last for two or three days at most, so we have to enjoy it while we can. About the size of a spread-fingered hand, it’s a showy flower that puts the rest of the garden to shame for a brief time.

One thought on “New Neighbors, Nature Notes

  1. susan

    great photos! Love the water lily and turtle especially, though the wren close-ups are nice, too!

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