Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Suburban Nature Encounters: Birds and Rabbits

We've had some fun nature moments in the last couple of weeks. It's spring, after all, and every creature's thoughts turn to. . . the usual: survival.

Since I'm a mediocre photographer at best, please bear with me. You may need to use your imagination a bit to really appreciate the scenes. :-)

At the equestrian park last week, we were delighted to discover this Carolina wren's nest in the rafters of the barn, right above our heads. I was unable to get a photo of Mama Wren, since she was extremely busy searching out food for her young ones. We could hear their demanding little peeps. Miss Priss and I were intrigued by the nest design: she'd built it "up," with the opening at the bottom left. You may be able to detect the front door:

Our neighborhood rabbits have been active. Perhaps spring has gone to their heads; we see them all hours of the day, even in the bright afternoon. I hope they're on the lookout for hawks and cats! I took this (admittedly poor) shot from our breakfast room window. Before I could take any more, the little guy bounded off.

I saved the best for last. In my most recent  Weekly Happenings post, I wrote about watching a titmouse make off with a large tuft of dog hair to line its nest. Corgi undercoat must be a much sought-after building material. In these photos (the best of many I shot), a Carolina chickadee collects dog hair from a rug we'd tossed on the deck.

She made several trips to gather the hair.

See the tuft in her beak?

Right after I snapped the above photo, she lit off.

In case you're wondering why the rug is on the deck rail, I'll tell you. The dogs had been having a field day ripping off the non-skid backing, and, in their exultation, ruined the rug. Ah, well. It had already given the best of its life to us.

Our feeders have been busy. The mealworms, so mocked by Himself ("What's going to eat those?"), vanished. We've sighted our regular patrons: titmice, Carolina chickadees, Carolina wrens, and Northern cardinals. Other visitors include: mourning doves, a yellow-rumped warbler, nuthatches, and house finches. I was late setting out my niger-seed finch feeder, however, and we missed the flocks of migrating goldfinches we usually serve in the spring.

Any interesting nature activity in your backyard or environs? Tell me about it!


  1. I love the photo of the chickadee with the tuft of dog hair in her mouth! We have been very remiss feeding the birds this spring and I have little to report from our own garden, but there are lots of birds everywhere. Most commonly we see blackbirds, tits (blue tits, great tits), robins, collared doves, wood pigeons, crows and magpies. I often hear greenfinches, but it's harder to see them.

    And this afternoon we were going to an appointment in the middle of the city where, near a wooded patch, we saw three rabbits, just like your own!

    I feel very inspired by the birds' ceaseless activity. I wish I felt a bit more energetic, but the Scottish saying is also true that "as the days lengthen, so we strengthen".

  2. Wonderful! Yes we have been enjoying watching king parrots, crimson rosellas, currawongs, and the lovely little sparrows all eating feed from our courtyard, just so lovely to watch over a morning cup of coffee! xxx

  3. That's what I do, Sarah! Our study window overlooks our backyard feeders, and I can watch the birds as the daylight grows stronger while I sip my coffee.


I love reading comments! And I appreciate the time you take to leave them. Thanks!