Nest Box News
I love this time of year; at the same time there is a certain level of stress that comes with being a nest box landlord. It is my job to ensure that boxes are equipped with predator guards, that they aren't within 10 feet of a tree (from which a squirrel could jump before devouring eggs/young), that boxes are checked regularly to ensure blowflies or wasps haven't gotten in. When nesting season concludes, I feel a certain sadness...and a certain relief.
This year started out rough with the chickadees who hatched in the middle of a cold spell and never really recovered. Happily, the current nest box occupants are all doing well. To recap: 5 young bluebirds in Box #4; 7 young House Wrens in Box 5; 7 more young House Wrens in Box 7. Both Wren boxes are under the watchful eyes of one male. He participates in feeding to some extent but mostly he sings to warn off rival males (who would dispatch the current young in order to try to sire their own offspring with the female). We had this happen one year where an entire box of nestlings (about 2 days old) were ejected from the box. All were dead by the time I discovered what had happened, and the female started laying 2 days later right in the same nest.
Anyway...all a long lead up to today's blip which is one of the parents (no idea which one as both sexes are identical) heading into the box with some tasty treats. The young in this box are a week old and are already vocalizing loud enough to be heard from 20 feet away. This is also Yardbird #27
I did a bunch of planting today - a sassafras sapling, a devil's walking stick sapling, a trumpet vine, and a bunch of dill plants. I also dug up and separated a hug clump of day lily which SIL is going to give to a friend of hers. And I cut back some milkweed to force new growth in anticipation of monarchs. I'm anxious for the phlox and bee balm to start blooming - that is when my gardens really come alive.
Otherwise, another day in our new covid world. Hubs and I are still staying close to home other than walks, bike rides and essential trips for groceries. We are also enjoying occasionally getting together for socially distant visits with friends. Beyond that, the world doesn't feel safe yet. I watch the numbers in some parts of the US where the infection rates are increasing rapidly and it is a constant reminder that reopening has to be done with a lot of caution and compliance.
So ... stay safe, be kind, be loving.