bunt sign

Monday, May 24, 2004

You know who isn't happy about the weeds being cut down? The black phoebes, that's who. They're insect eaters, and they've spent the last few months swooping down over my back yard and snatching bugs out of the air. Now their work is harder, which is kind of too bad, since they've gone to the trouble to build a nest under the eave above my dormer window.

The beneficiaries of the new-look yard are the crows and robins. They love to walk the grounds as if they were surveyors (which, in their way, I suppose they are). Now that they can actually see the ground, I've had many more of them come to visit. In just one day they've been on almost constant patrol.

I think I even saw some starlings out there, although I haven't had any definite sightings for two or three years. At one time they were the only birds that came around, but they must have found a place they like better because I never see them any more.

When the gardeners left last night at six o'clock, the beams above my back porch were clear. By midday today, a pair of house finches had put together a makeshift shelter. I've seen them around for the last week, but all I've had to do was move in their direction and they would fly off.

Today, though, they must have caught me with my back turned. Before I knew what was happening, there was a full-fledged nest on the corner above the bird feeder. How convenient for them.

24 May 2004

The nest, after a few hours of work.

Now that I can see the yard itself, I expect to see some of the old visitors coming back. It might take a while, but the scrub jays and mockingbirds still have an argument to settle. And I'm hoping the finches will let the sparrows get close enough to use the feeder. The swallows? They never left. I still see them doing their aerobatics every evening just before dusk. They're as reliable as they are flighty.

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The mama finch does the nest building while the papa finch stands watch. They're no longer much affected by my presence. I stood right next to the sliding glass door and watched them go back and forth for a while late this afternoon. They were unfazed. So was I, I guess. I'm not going to let their presence keep me from using that door or that porch. If they can live with it, I can, too.

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