Mr. Wren Seeks a Wife

By Diane Stuart, last updated 6/25/14 08:00am


Yes, this is the same diligent chirpie (on the left) who had to fight for his own nest in our last article.

Having won that battle, he struggles to win the War of Matrimony. The nest is built. His song is sung. The women come . . . inspect . . .and fly away.

I wish I could tell him to rebuild. Clearly, something is lacking. Worse yet, he’s surrounded by bragging parents with nests full of chirping feather balls…

Oh yes!

The first indication of this baby boom was the catbirds screeching incessantly and dive-bombing our faces—or, in Tony the Dog’s case, his tail. I was pruning my New Dawn rose and they put up such a fuss I yelled "What?! It’s not like there’s a nest in here!"

But there was.

So we’ve tolerated these anxious parents’ insults and jabs for weeks. I suppose it’s justified—Their fledgie narrowly escaped the jaws of Wolfie the Cat. I wonder, though, whether the phrase "watch your back" originated with the catbird…

Shortly after that episode a blue-jay appears in our backyard aviary, covertly glancing at me from the roof’s edge. What now? was my grumpy thought, but when I followed her gaze, mine was met by an equally grumpy fledgling.

At first I thought, "This bully blue-jay better not be here to mess with our catbird fledgling," but after several hours of scrutiny, I realized the grumpy fledgling was hers!

Did you know, a fledgling blue-jay he can turn his head almost completely to the rear and use his back as a pillow? As I said, hours of observation…

With such rare encounters you can imagine how the excitement builds… I know you won’t blame me for investigating the Mourning Dove nest in the carport eaves … If you were here you’d be doing it yourself.

Yes, we need to stay away… No, we shouldn’t interfere even when there seems to be a dead fledgling in there. But honestly, weeks go by and I still see this dove couple hanging around that nest. Why?

Our opening comes in a rare moment when both Little Mama and Pops have flown the nest. We climb up on a kitchen stool and peer in. Why do I NEVER think to bring my camera with me on such excursions? Or eye protection …

The dead sibling was there. So was the nest. And then, two little beaked faces looking up at us. No bigger than ping pong balls.

"Should we remove the dead one?"

"They can do that themselves," said someone younger and wiser.

We crept away happy to know the doves were carrying on. Soon after I saw this:

Not what I planned either, as this is my front door. But not to worry, Pops is on the scene, patiently observing. And according to Wikipedia, that’s his job, along with sharing nesting duties (he takes days, she takes nights). And did you know these guys are monogamous—for the season, at least-- and that they nurture the fledglings by feeding them after they’ve fledged until they are strong enough to be independent? Yep. Better watch your step in my carport. Best of all, though, is that they can produce as many as six broods a season! Yay!

Life is looking good here in Hundred Acre. If only Mother Nature would give Mr. Wren a break.

Filed under Home & Garden, Wildlife / biodiversity / nature appreciation

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