Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nesting Season is Here! Part 2

House Wrens and Broken Eggs

The nesting wrens were doing well and working towards laying eggs.  Here is a shot of the female(I think) who protects her territory from anything including me with a camera.  She is a very active little bird and very vocal.

They had packed the nest box with all sorts of leaves, sticks, pine needles and other stuff.  I checked periodically but they hadn't yet laid eggs.  One morning this weekend, I noticed the bird box wasn't hanging up.  It was on the ground and the glue had given way that was holding the top with the loop to hang the box.  When I picked it up, I noticed two little wren eggs inside.  The female was close by and very upset.  I placed the nest on top of my compost tumbler to get it off the ground and away from potential predators.    

Later on, I went to check on the nest box and I noticed the eggs were smashed on the ground.  The female had probably disposed of them.  I have seen and heard the wrens still in the area so hopefully she will lay more eggs.  It is still early in the season and wrens do sometimes have two broods so we'll see.

Update: No new eggs yet in the nest box and I'm starting to wonder if they might have changed locations.  That is not good news for the other cavity nesting birds around since House Wrens are known to take nest spots and dispose of the eggs/hatchlings that are inside.  It's just amazing that this little cute birds is so aggressive.

Here is part 1 if you missed it.  Happy Birding!  

Friday, May 12, 2017

Nesting Season is Here!

House Wren

A few weeks ago, I hung up a birdhouse in our yard that I had found in our basement.  I had no idea if anything would use it.  Almost instantly,  I began seeing activity around the birdhouse.  There was some Black-capped Chickadees that checked it out.  The other was a wren that I later discovered was a House Wren.  Well, it looks like the House Wren has claimed it!

It has filled the box with sticks as you can see from the above picture.

The House Wren is known to be a very fierce little bird.  They chase off much larger birds from nest boxes and sometimes drag out hatchlings or eggs too.  This is it staring me down for getting too close to the box.

What a fun little bird and they have beautiful songs.   Here is it singing away from above it's new nesting box.  I'm looking forward to checking in on it's progress during the season.  Happy Birding and enjoy your nesting backyard birds!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Eagle Report for 5/4

Two Nests and Two Differing Reactions

I have always been fascinated by wildlife behavior especially in raptors.  How will they react to a certain situation is intriguing.  While monitoring Bald Eagle nests, I have seen many defenses of the nests by adult pairs.  Sub-adult Bald Eagles are a large portion of the intruders.  They have not yet reached adulthood to have a nest of their own and they are always looking for an easy meal.  They will take anything from an unguarded nest including an eaglet and any food left in the nest.    

Two nests separated by a few miles took a very different approach to the nuance of sub-adult Bald Eagle intruders.

If you have read the blog for awhile, you might have remembered this drama from last season.  The first nest seems to constantly have intruders around the nest.  The above pictures is of one of the adults chasing off one of the young eagles that got too close to the nest.  The adult hit the sub-adult 4 or 5 times while chasing it.  Obviously, the intruder had angered the pair and they wanted to make sure they proved their point.   The other member of the pair was back at the nest protecting the eaglets while this was going on.  They are a well tuned machine when it comes to defending their nest and nest territory.  No intruder goes by the nest without at least being warned to stay away.

At the second nest further downstream, the above young eagle soared and circled near the nest.  The adult perched nearby paid no attention to the intruder and it didn't even call out to warn the other eagle.  There was no sign of alarm at all.  The below picture was the reaction of the adult eagle.

Why would two nests close to each other and most likely dealing with the same group of young eagles react so vastly different?  It is hard to say for sure but it is very interesting.  We will see if the reaction from the past weekend by both nests is a consistent behavior or if they react differently in different situations. I am excited to see more... Stay tuned.