Thursday, June 03, 2010

Gutter Birds

We recently had a mama robin make her nest right in the gutter on our barn.  There is no shelter from the rain and sun and I thought surely the nest would be abandoned before any eggs could be layed there.  Clearly I was wrong.  I've watched the mama laying on her nest in the rain and in the unseasonably hot weather we've been having and today I saw tiny orange mouths raised to the sky, peeking from the nest.  I didn't want to get too close so I raised my camera and shot blindly into the nest.  It looks like there are two little fledglings in there.  Two future flyers who had their start in the gutter.  I'm rooting for them.

Really?  This is where you want your nest?  Listen honey, location, location, location.

She's managed to work some toilet paper or tissue into her nest.

Feed me!

We also have a junco who's made her nest on the gutter downspout right outside my kitchen window.  It just happens to be right above my little herb garden and she sits and glares at me from a nearby shepherd's hook when I'm in there weeding. 

I'm enjoying the return of the birds very much.  Our hummingbirds are back and could care less if we're outside.  I've had them buzz so close to my ears that my hair moves.  I'm pretty sure they're telling me to back away from their feeder.  I saw two scarlet tanagers yesterday and had a mama blue jay screaching and bobbing her head at me. (I must have been too close to her nest)

What kinds of birds are you seeing by you?


Anonymous said...

awww love!!!!!
we've seen a lot of robins here, and some cardinals, but no nests. then again, i haven't been looking closely either. i will, today.

Wear Your Wild said...

That is so strange that she built her nest in the gutter, especially with all of your trees! One of our robins built their nest in a shrub this year, which is odd because they always build they higher up in the trees.
I've been documenting as many nests as I can find. I've photograhed bluebirds, robins, thrashers, house wrens, red finches and some little birds that are maybe chickadees.

Mama Llama said...

Yesterday I was driving home and saw a baby bird in the road so I pulled over to move it into the grass. As I was walking up, I saw the parents flying around in a tizzy, and they were definitely scolding me, but I didn't want the baby to get squashed. As I was bent over to pick up the baby and move him, both the parents started attacking me! I was so surprised! They were only getting my back, but you can bet I hurried up and moved that baby and ran for my car. My sister was watching from the car, and I think she almost wet herself from laughing.

Andrea said...

I love this...
I live in a busy downtown so the birds seem to be pretty rare but I have seen some amazing ones at the bird feeder.
Lucky you to have such beauty around you!

Robin Arnold said...

My Dad, who you all are welcome to call Grandpa or Uncle Ralph, tells me that male robins arrive first in the Spring. You may have noticed a group of males hanging around first before other birds return. He says that the males build 2 or 3 nests before the females arrive then they woo the females with their awesome nest abilities. The females pick the nest so while they don't build them, they pick the location. Clearly your female is an extroverted showoff I'd say. The other unused robin's nest get used by lazy birds or perhaps there are robins with multiple households. They are not like cardinals who mate for life.

Here's another tidbit my dad told me, robins have 7 distinct songs. There's even one to call for rain. There's a swell bird book out that has stuff like this in it, the name of which escapes me, it's packed here somewhere.

As always, love your photos!

lynn bowes said...

I'm turning into such a senior citizen that I even have a bird book with a checklist (ummm . . . I probably shouldn't have told you that) but I'm faithful about checking them off and get excited when I see a new one at the feeder.

Baltimore Orioles are building a sack in the mulberry and we've already got one brood of bluebirds. I work hard to attract them including buying mealworms to keep in the fridge. (Watch what I serve you for supper here at the Bowes Ranch.) And always the usual suspects - Goldfinch, Kingbird, Brown Thrasher and Magpie.

But I can't get hummingbirds to find me yet.

Pesky Cat Designs said...

I so envy your backyard and all the nature you are surrounded by. I live in NYC and the most abundant bird we have here is the pigeon. he he But since I am lucky enough to live in a complex of buildings that are surrounded by a ton of trees and landscaping I do see robins, blue jays, doves, sparrows, those little black birds ( don;t know what they are called) and a few red-tailed hawks believe it or not!

Enjoy your gardening and bird watching!

Lora said...

My niece wrote a blog post about a mama robin yesterday that you might find interesting...

Seems those mama robins don't always make the best choices for their nest locations, but I liked that this one forgave my great nephew.

You don't know me, but I lurk on your blog and soak up your creativity!

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Chels - I hope you see some. There's something really special about babies in nests.

Black Star - yeah, I'm not sure what they were thinking.

Mama Llama - I have to say that I would probably be like your sister because I was laughing just thinking about it. :)

Andrea - It really is a treat to be able to see so much wildlife here. It makes up for some of the other not-so-fun parts of living in the woods. (ahem...mosquitos)

Robin - that is fascinating! There are 3 nests within a very small area and it makes me wonder now if Senor Robin isn't shacking up with a trio of ladies. Scandal in the animal kingdom.

Lynn - I would love to have a book with a checklist so I guess I'm a senior citizen too. :D I spend a little too much time on as it is though.

Elisa - ha! Well we don't see pigeons here, but I do think they're pretty cool when I go to the city.

Lora - your niece's post was really beautiful. I'm glad you shared it, and glad you stopped in!

Yarni Gras! said...

sweet! Our teeny backyard is a bird haven right now.... We've got hummingbirds, redheaded woodpeckers and bluebirds. We also have a brooding pair of Great Crested flycatchers that terrorize a few squirrels. Top that off with regular visits from blue jays and mockingbirds.....busy busy busy!


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