Monday, February 1, 2010

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 02/01/2010

Wow! It’s hard to believe that it is already February. I mentioned last week that my local red tails were courting and my resident mockingbird was singing his heart out. This can only mean that nesting and egg laying are soon to come. It is fun to watch what things are being carried to the nest to enfold the potential offspring. When I had llamas I had some of the softest nests in the neighborhood. The tiniest of birds could be seen flying through the air trailing amazingly long pieces of llama wool….warm and snuggly for little eggs, soon to be nublet baby birds.

At Liberty Wildlife, I am told that the local cactus wrens pop about the ground picking up chicken feathers (plucked and flung from prey hand fed to the education raptors). Apparently they pick a feather up, slap it around on the ground a time or two and reject the ones that don’t fit in with the scheme or design of the nest…there does seem to be a selection/rejection process going on…picky, picky, picky! In the past we have had some pretty amazing nests brought in filled with orphaned babies (or nests made orphaned by some inadvertent wrong season pruning!) including all sorts of “found objects” like dog hair, snake skins, leaves, mammal fur and a large variety of different sized twigs and sticks.

As I think about all of the nest building energy taking place now or in the very near future, I am hoping to make a plea to all of you enthusiastic gardener/landscaper types. If the energy strikes you to run out neatnik-like on one of these lovely, balmy, sunny days, to trim your residential trees….grab your binoculars instead and sit back down until the mood passes. It is the very worst time to take on such an endeavor. From now until late summer or early fall the trees will be teeming with nesting, rearing, fledging activities. There are enough difficulties facing these guys without the sound of lopping or sawing rattling their nerves or shaking them loose from their moorings.

The bottom line is that you must leave the tree trimming until a nice, balmy, sunny fall day!


Bethany Fourmy said...

I love your blog so much, Megan, it's such a treat! :) I did witness some of those goofball wrens gathering nesting materials at Liberty yesterday, and I thought "yep, must be getting close to springtime!" (that groundhog doesn't know anything!)

Thanks for the lovely blog!!

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