Lots have happened with the bluebirds since last I posted! The first bunch of babies did very well and fledged early one Saturday morning. Before a week was up, the parents were at it again. This time, they set up housekeeping in the birdbox mounted on a porch post at the end of our house. I can't express how wonderful it is to have them living so near! It's fun to sit on the porch, a mere 15' or so away, and watch them. Listening to them is fun, too. Their voices are so soothing; they warble to each other and it really sounds like they're having a conversation. I believe the latest clutch of eggs has started hatching; I saw the male bring a small insect to the house a few minutes ago. Awesome.
The little wooden house we hung in the tree has been a constant source of entertainment (and distraction) for me. I can see it from my desk and spent too much time grabbing my binoculars to sneak a peek at the activities when I was supposed to be writing. But I'm glad I kept an eye on it...the babies fledged two days ago and I got to catch a good bit of the action!
I realized there was a huge amount of activity in and out of the house--parents carrying in food and taking out great big fecal sacs, almost in a frenzy. I couldn't stand not knowing exactly what was going on so I grabbed my binocs (gonna have those things surgically attached one of these days) and headed for the front porch.
This is so cool--I got a good look at little chickadee faces peering out of the house! They were cheeping and fussing and I could even see them preening themselves. I missed the actual leaving of the nest because I had to run back inside to catch the phone. Once I was certain the nest was deserted, I took a flashlight and went out to peek inside the house. The box was filled with moss, puffs of the soft nesting material I had hung outside in a suet cage, and even a small matted tangle of Taffy's hair! (Taffy was my sweet little dog who left us last summer after being my best friend for more than 14 years.) I loved seeing that; it made it even more special to know that Taffy had helped the chickadees build a comfy home.
Around the Garden
The big bluejay that's been hanging around a lot lately came to perch on the edge of the birdbath and then sat leisurely sipping. Big drops of water dribbled down its chest...talk about a sloppy drinker. And as I sat on the porch observing all the other birdly activity, I noticed a hummingbird buzzing all around one of the hanging pots of petunias. Then it moved to the other end of the porch to check out the English ivy, totally ignoring the freshly filled feeder hanging next to it. I have no idea what the attraction is, but the hummingbirds really love that ivy!
We're heading up to Chattanooga tomorrow to visit the National Cemetery where my brother is buried. It's such a beautiful, peaceful place. I'm going to take some roses from our garden to put on the grave. Semper Fi, bro. I miss you every day!!