Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Variety of Birds of Happiness

I think I mentioned previously that there used to be bluebirds in the yard here chez Lizardo/Limey, but that the cutting down of the only large trees on the block and the influx of numerous housecats and feral cats within the space of a few months pretty effectively put a stop to all that songbirdly happiness.

So for several years, the bluebird house that the neighbor put up held a motley assortment of other kinds of baby birds; mainly sparrows, possibly a couple of house finches. Unfortunately, the way she had mounted the house made it lean forward at the top. This made the front "wall" of the little house fall open an inch or so at the bottom, as it was hinged at the top. Thus there was always a litter of nest material sort of dripping out the bottom of the front, and it was clear that cats and/or raccoons and/or possums were happy to just paw at it and eat whoever was living there at random intervals. Not exactly prime bluebird real estate.

Then those tenants moved out, and left little sad bits of landscaping around, including the little birdhouse. During the winter, snow and ice knocked it further off its teetery balance on two nails, so I took it and wedged it firmly in some sturdy branches of the tree next to it, but with the top leaning back so it stayed closed. At least maybe the sparrows could have the chance of raising some uneaten babies come spring.

Then last weekend as TheLimey was returning from a little walkies with Limelet, he phoned me (yes, from right outside our place) to ask "what kind of a bird has red on the front--" house finch, thought I -- "and bright blue all over the back and head?" I instantly dropped my analyses of variance and ran out there like a shot. Yep--Bluebirds nesting!

I can't tell you how something so small and simple just made my week. It was the first nice day after the resurgence of winter that we had, and not only were there bluebirds, there were goldfinches, a brace of cardinals, chickadees, and house finches aplenty. I could hear two different kinds of woodpecker in the wooded lot across the street, too.

Now the birds that mysteriously shunned my feeder all winter seem to be returning to it, along with the tender new leaves on the honeysuckle vines. I heart spring.

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