Sunday, February 12, 2017

Birdhouses Closed for Business

Before the birds begin making their selection for new birdhouses for the season, we chose this grey, cold, wet day to get the houses cleaned out.


Some interesting finds and observations included:

> One nest had a prominent blue jay feather featured, although it hadn't been used by one:


> Three plumb mice promptly jumped out as we removed the thick nesting material, jumping wildly into the air, practically onto us as, but landed in the snow below and scurried away:


> Another house, at the top of the property and usually used by bluebirds, had a small, very messy, loosely built nest made of small twigs and moss. It looked like it must have been very uncomfortable for baby birds:



We have never seen this type of nesting materials in this birdhouse before. Perhaps, it was a Carolina Wren's, Northern Mockingbird's, or Great Crested Flycatcher's nest? 

Northern mockingbird nests are composed of a lot of twigs, and seem to resemble the nest we found the best.

(Photo: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/)

> As we made our way back to the meadows, we flushed out a very wet Coppers Hawk, who routinely can be seen here, by the vernal pond:


> The newest birdhouse hasn't been used recently and was completely free of bird nesting material:


The birdhouses will all be left wide open this year to hopefully break the cycle of house sparrows using them.



Every bird is on their own for the nesting season this year!