Sunday, May 21, 2006

A bird in the box is worth...

Everyone here is finally starting to get better. Hubby was still pretty miserable last night, but seems to be doing a fair bit better today. He's actually planning to go back to work tomorrow after an entire week off. Not the week's vacation he was hoping for by any stretch. Apparently this nasty digestive virus has been making the rounds around here, as the neighbor girl has now come down with it.

The rain has FINALLY stopped here. It's rained the past two weeks every day for the better part of the day. The back yard is a swamp. So much for the raised bed I'd been working on. It's going to need a good couple of weeks of dry weather to get to the point where I can get anything planted.

The wet weather has not, however, deterred the rest of Mother Nature from carrying on regularly scheduled duties. The birds have been quite busy nesting lately, and our nesting box is no exception. For the past couple of years, we've had at least 4 broods of house sparrows. They insisted on trying to build a nest on the lip of our awning every spring, and not having much luck at it because it was too shallow, so I went out and bought a nesting box for them to try their luck at.

The house sparrow nest is like a little cave. They build it so that there's a little hole big enough for them to get in and out of, and both parents spend a lot of time going back and forth to feed the little chicks. I never got a chance to see the babies (though I did get surprised by one flying out when I tried to take a peek inside...scared the bejabbers out of me!) or even see them leaving the nest, but I could hear their little chirps when I was out on the back patio near the box, and it was always fun to watch the flurry of activity when they are building and nesting.

I always make sure to clean out the nest after each brood to make sure that each new brood has a healthy start. This year after cleaning out the box, I expected to be treated to another set of sparrows bringing in twigs, dried grass, and random fluff to make another nest, but was surprised to see a different bird this year.

A robin has decided to make our nesting box home for the spring. She started bringing in grass and twigs a week or so ago and has been diligently tending the nest for a couple of days now. I'm hoping that means there are eggs. Because the box is near the house, I can watch out the kitchen window for activity, but that also means that we have to take care when out on the patio, else we might get dive-bombed. She's given no indication yet that she would do that, but I want to be careful not to provoke her!

I'm hoping that she'll leave long enough for me to get up close and get a photo of the eggs, but I have a feeling that won't happen. We'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I tried to get up close to get a picture, but I was so afraid to disturb her. Because of the shadow in the box, you can barely make out her beak (click on the picture for a larger view).

There has been some knitting progress, and I'll be able to post some other fun knitting things in a few's all about the timely unleashing of the secret....

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