Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Backyard Update

Swallow peeking at me from her nest.

Swallow eggs in birdhouse.

Here is the latest on my backyard bird sanctuary (except for the house sparrows.) The bluebirds have built another nest in the same bluebird house. The first crop of baby bluebirds are now on their own, now it’s time for the second batch of new bluebirds. Last year the bluebirds also raised two batches in this same bluebird box. I'm happy to say it looks like a repeat performance this year.

This year for the first time, swallows have taken up in one of the other bluebird houses. Their pictures are featured on this blog. There is also a swallow nest in one of the two gourds hanging from the Purple Martin house. Last year the only swallow nests were on my neighbor’s porch. They built a mud nest right over his front door. While it was cute and interesting to watch the baby swallows grow, the mess they made wasn’t too cute for my neighbor’s company. This year my neighbor took down the hook the swallows built their nest and moved it over to the side of his porch where the mess wasn’t so noticeable.

One house sparrow pair continues to build a nest in one of the Purple Martin apartments. I cleaned out that last nest about an hour ago and I don’t expect to see them back. I checked the five other apartments and they all have the white Purple Martin eggs in their modest nests. One of the apartments was formerly the house sparrow nest that I had taken out at least a half a dozen times before the Taliban Sparrows gave up. I don't like cleaning out their nest and I hope this is the last time I have to do it. My backyard bird habitat is for native bird species only.

This year we’re getting plenty of rain unlike the past two years in which we watched the farmers’ fields of corn burn up from lack of rain. With all the rain we also have plenty of mosquitoes. I’m food for the mosquitoes but the mosquitoes are food for the birds in my backyard. My backyard is ecology 101 at work. As I type this I hear thunder rumbling in the distant sky now. More rain, just what we need.

My goal when I moved to our new home in Delaware was to create a backyard habitat as a sanctuary for the local natives species birds. Yesterday Bill and I finished putting in the two remaining raised flower beds that border the edge of our acre of backyard. Anchoring each flower bed is a bird bath. The bird baths are probably the main attraction for the birds in our backyard. Now that I have two new raised flower beds, I’ll have to get two more bird baths. That brings the count of bird baths in our backyard to eight. One can never have enough bird baths in their back yard. Believe me, they’re all used. On especially hot days I have to change the water several times. No complaints from this quarter though, it is a labor of love. But there are a lot of dirty birds out there.


Mike said...

The Birdman of Lower Slower. Did I get that right? Mike

Ron Tipton said...


You made me smile this morning. Yes, I am the Birdman of Lower Slower.