There is no doubt that spring is the time for the predominance of bulbs-but birds, too, hold us in their thrall. ~Mirabel Osler
About the middle of April, we had a nasty reminder that winter was still in charge as he raced in with frigid temps in the 20s and more SNOW! And while it looked pretty against the early spring blooms, they and I were not happy. We both hung our heads thinking this is a cruel trick.
I was sitting indoors depressed that I could not (or would not) go out and garden in the snow and cold when all of a sudden I heard quite a bird racket. At first, I thought it was in the back garden, but it seemed too loud. So I went toward the front door, camera in hand, looking out the side window from a distance. As I approached I saw a female cardinal in one of our dwarf willows. In an effort not to scare her off, I stayed away from the window and snapped a few pictures. Her mate soon showed up as they looked the tree over.
I moved to another window and spied a robin on the porch sitting in a dusting of snow. Then I saw another robin waiting under the tree in the snow. It appears, I had stumbled upon bird couples house hunting. They had heard our front trees were for rent, and would make a great place to raise their little ones.
And they certainly were not letting a little snow and cold deter them from their natural time to nest. Don’t you love the little foot prints the robins left, and the surprise wing prints as they stretched.
It seemed the cardinals were first to the tree, but moved on under the steady gaze of the robins who were intent to rent. Cardinals usually like a bit more privacy and are not as comfortable nesting that close to the house. We generally have robins take one of the two trees, and I think this year will be no exception.
So we will have to hurry to trim the trees a bit. We usually are not fast enough to beat the robins before they build a nest. Then we have to wait 2 months until the little ones fledge while the trees grow out of control. We can barely get down the walk when the trees are not trimmed in early spring. One year the robins built three nests and we had to wait until late summer to trim them.
Yes we could chase them, we could trim the trees and risk the robins abandoning the nest, but we will not. We garden for wildlife and want them to make a home in our garden. We want to give back to our home, the earth, by providing a habitat for many critters from the very tiny that will feed the young birds to the larger who may make the young birds their meal. It is an intricate food web and we will do very little to disrupt it.
Others staking claim right now are the bluebirds who are guarding two houses against the house sparrows. Soon it will be moving in day for them as well. I love being a bird landlord whether it is a tree or a house. We take pride in providing the best home and restaurant for these birds. And they, in turn, provide beautiful music and interesting sights when the babies hatch and then fledge.
Do you have birds nesting already this spring? Do you provide trees, bushes, houses and other shelter for birds who visit your garden?
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