13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
I am done uploading April’s photos and am now going through the really birdie month of May. May is not even done yet and there are 401 photos in the file, plus what’s on the cameras. On to the pictureless post.
God gave the birds some amazing instincts to do the things they need to survive, but it seems there are a few things they need to learn. Observing these moments can be quite humorous. I will share two recent examples.
The Orioles have returned, both the Orchard and the Baltimore. Based on the numbers we’re seeing the parents have arrive with last year’s young. At the first sighting of an Oriole, we placed orange halves in the proper places. The hummie feeder was up by this time.
Those silly Orioles eat the oranges, but then try getting to the nectar. The hummingbird feeders we have out are for hummingbirds, not big blackbirds. We then get out the nectar feeder made for Orioles, but nope, they don’t want that. They want the challenge of a hummingbird feeder without perches.
Another bird, another brain.
The other day a Tree Swallow was attempting to get into the Chickadee nesting box. It couldn’t fit into the Chickadee sized hole. By that evening, a nice box with a Tree Swallow sized hole was put in its proper place. (It had been taken down to make it more stable during our strong winds. ) A couple of days later, the Tree Swallows return and find the new box. They check it out, perch on it a bit, then proceed to try to get into the Chickadee box. The birds could not fit their fat little bodies into that small hole, but that didn’t keep them from trying. Over and over.
Ah, the life of a bird.
Update to this on the 20th:
We were away most of Saturday, so do not know what happened. But Sunday morning, Mrs. Tree Swallow was taking nesting material into the correct box. In and out and in and out.
Then a human acts like they have a small brain… me!
Friday, I learned that along with placing wood shavings inside the box, it is recommended you put in a handful of wood ashes to prevent mites. We sure do not have any of that on hand, but were visiting friends on Saturday who might have some. And yes, they did, as they had not yet cleaned out their wood stove after the winter’s use. We came home with the handful and then some, for the asparagus we have to get in the ground.
We were planning on putting some ashes in today, but then noticed Little Mama-to-be already building. Hmm… Well, so we watched to find a time when the Tree Swallows were not at the box. I sent the little one out, but should have thought to tell him, if the Swallows come around to get back in. He was putting in the ashes around the existing nest and the birds were swooping all around him. He just stood there, we had to call him back in.
We (mostly me) just watched and fretted and fretted a lot. Little Mama-to-be would perch on the wire, look in the box, but not go back in. Finally she did and the little couple were happily building and singing. Have you ever heard the Tree Swallow? It is a sweet noise. The bird book calls it a “liquid chirp”. It’s a nice bubbly sound.
Our other mama, Mrs. Robin, is doing well. I have learned something from watching them. I have heard it said that the father takes no part with nest building or egg sitting. Yes, that is true, but he has a job to do. When Mama gets off the nest to feed or bathe, Papa is right there. I once saw him perch on the nest itself until she got back. He also perches real close to the tree to guard that nest until Mama returns.
The Kestrel couple seems to be doing alright. Now that the eggs must be laid, we do not see them as much, but will see one bringing food to the nesting box for the parent inside.