Thursday, July 30, 2009

Attracting Birds to our Yard

I woke up this morning and after starting my coffee, I found myself drawn to the front window to check out our newfound bird friends. There they were, doves, wrens and even a small cottontail bunny eating away at the seed and seut I placed out front this week. That day when my husband came home from work he asked "what's that huge block of stuff out front?" as if I'd gone crazy. "It's bird seed. Just wait, they'll find it and when they do...they'll come back again and again." And that's truly what's happened...and it's wonderful!

When we were visiting my parents recently we had the pleasure of enjoying the sweet song of the Jenny Wrens. For years, Mom and Dad have grown their own gourds and once dried out they paint each one and then hang them from their trees. Then they wait.

In the spring, the job of the male Jenny Wren is to go out and build as many nests as he can so he can then court a mate and impress her. These nests are crudely built and all fairly close to one another since it's also a way to keep out intruders and declare territory.

A few weeks later the female Wren will arrive and if she shows any interest in the male he'll then take her on a home tour of all the nests he's built, hoping she'll choose one. Should the female wren decide to stick around she will choose the nest of her liking and then go inside and start doing some serious housekeeping and remodeling...I love this part! She'll toss out many of the sticks he used and return with softer nesting materials such as grass and feathers. Now she's ready to lay her eggs. She'll lay about 5-6 speckled eggs and 2 weeks later they hatch. I'm so jealous of the two weeks...can you image if our pregnancies were only 2 weeks? haha

Watching these little birds at my parents' home ignited a desire in me to attract birds to our yard so we could watch and listen to them. They truly are fascinating creatures. Today I noticed our Cactus Wren was rather aggressive and somewhat of a bully to the other birds. Since his nest is in our Saquaro I guess he feels a bit territorial about our yard.

I was curious as to what species the small red-headed bird might be, so I looked it up on the internet and after a bit of research I believe it to be a male House Finch. There were also a few Mourning Doves enjoying the free grub.

I have a feeling I'll be learning more about our visitors and hope that they'll get used to me reading the newspaper on the front porch when the weather gets nicer. I'd enjoy their company.

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