Flunking Nest Building

April 10, 2010

All day long, I had wrens bumping into my office window, sitting on the windowsill, perching on the hummingbird nest sculpture and flying off my left, only to come back in a few minutes and repeat the cycle. I could not understand what the attraction was, as I don’t have any seed out there yet.

At first I thought it was a coincidence. Maybe the way the light reflected off the window today made it look like a pass through. Maybe they were trying to rub against the house to satisfy an itch. Maybe they were just peering at a human peering back at them.

But it went on for hours – all day long.

So of course, I got worried. I hadn’t noticed anything, but figured they tore something open on the house, either the roof or the underpanel, or decided, as a pair of mourning doves did one year, to nest right in the gutter (Seriously. Now I know why stupid people are called bird brains. The first time it rained after they built – oh, what a mess).

When I got outside, I looked up first. And saw nothing. No damage anywhere. I backed up on the patio to get a good look at the roof and saw nothing unusual there either. The gutters looked clean (really, dumb birds). There were wrens sitting on the roof, which made me pause.

Then I saw the top of our rainbarrel. It was covered with sticks and twigs and grass, all the makings of one heck of a fine nest.

My neighbor has a nest that nestled in the elbow of his gutter, against the house, that robins use to hatch and raise their young. (Last year, we could sit and watch the flying lessons from our patio – making sure the dogs didn’t get the idea that the fledglings were somehow toys!) Now, the really funny thing is that you can see that nest from my gutter – it is just across the walkway.

I’m thinking that my wrens looked at that nest, looked at my gutter, elbowed the same way, and thought, “We could do that.” Well, apparently, those wrens are truly bird brains, because they couldn’t seem to do it after all.

the elbow and the mess

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