Monday, July 2, 2018

Here We Go Again

Everyone who knows me or reads this blog will know this fact about me, I DISLIKE House Wrens!  They have caused me so much grief over the years.  They kill other bird's eggs especially my beloved bluebirds.  They squawk (more like a loud twitter) constantly.  Some people think they have a nice song, but I do not.  They dart around like they have had too much caffeine.  Every spring I follow them around.  They build mock nests in every birdhouse they can find so no other bird can use the houses.  If you find a birdhouse stuffed completely full of small sticks, it is most likely a house wren's mock nest. The house wren is protected so you can't hurt or kill them, but you can discourage their nest building and make life miserable for them .  Last summer they finally left our yard and went elsewhere.  I think they were planning their strategy because this spring they were back with a vengeance.  I kept the birdhouses clear.  I saw one now and then but they weren't causing problems until NOW.  They decided to build a nest in a decorative birdhouse I have hanging by my front door.  About three years ago our grandson painted a birdhouse for us that his other grandpa had made.  He was five years old at the time.  I decided to hang it on our porch near our front door and out of the elements.  One day I looked up and saw sticks coming out of the hole and feathers poking out.  I was blindsided, those wrens had tricked me.

I heard the wren, but I never actually caught her going in or out of the house.  She would squawk (or twitter) at me from the bushes or porch rail, but it didn't occur to me that she had laid eggs in that house until I saw all the junk in the house.

She chose this location for her nest, so she has to put up with us coming and going.  I think she got comfortable during the time we were gone on vacation, so now that we are back home she is doubly irritated with us.  She is constantly making noise.

I think it will be over soon.  Today I saw the young ones yelling for mom.  They look as big as her.

If you look closely you can see a baby peeking out. 
Then mom showed up.  She is so flighty I had to take the photos through the window. 
I only see two but there may be more.

This afternoon things got really quiet.  Hopefully the young birds have fledged*, and I can clean out this birdhouse.  Then I will plug the hole so she can't pull that trick again.  Although taking care of her own babies didn't give her time to destroy our bluebird eggs.  The bad news is that something else got to the baby bluebirds.  One week after they hatched, I went to check on them.  They were gone.  The house and nest were completely in tact with no sign of anything disturbing the nest.  I think a raccoon would tear apart the nest so the only thing I can think of is a snake.  More than once I have chased a snake away from a bird's nest.  The robin nest is empty too.  It is sad, but nature is sometimes so cruel.

*Update...I was wrong.  The wren babies have not fledged.  It was just wishful thinking.  I just saw the mom bring a giant size bug or worm.  If those babies can eat that, then they are old enough to leave the nest.  I'll keep watching.