Lots of nesting going on around here. Not long ago the Bluebirds built a nest in the Purple Martin house. I didn’t get to see the babies, but I did see active feeding, so it seems there was success up there.
The Purple Martins opted to move on to different digs. I’m still holding out some hope…I read they can nest through June. Truth is, I’m not holding my breath since there has been no aerial acrobatics in quite some time.
The Common Grackles built a nest in the Long Leaf Pine overlooking the pond only to have the wind take it down. Such troupers! They got right back to it and built one up higher in the same tree.
And, as luck would have it, it appears they had success. I found the remains of an eggshell on the ground and there was a feather attached. If they are anything like the bluebirds, once hatched, mom and dad remove the eggshells and take them elsewhere for disposal.
The Grackles also built a nest in the dog area, but I haven’t seen any activity. Often male birds begin the nest and then the female makes a decision on where she wants to make a home. Maybe this one was too small and she opted for a fancier section of the neighborhood, maybe the one with a water view mentioned above.
The mockingbirds are everywhere. Two successful nests on my lot and I see lots of feeding activity close by. The nest in the back was at the crossroads of Sabal palmetto, Rhus copallinum and Smilax. (Cabbage Palm, Winged Sumac and a Greenbrier vine, respectively), all Florida native plants. That nest had three eggs and three babies were seen fattening up.
The front nest, in the doggie area was built in the exotic Bottlebrush (purchased and planted before I was introduced to the benefits of native plants). Not sure of the successful numbers in that nest but there was a hungry baby always looking for food.
And a hopeful dog waiting for fledge day. The birds are smart. They fledged on a day when I was out running errands and the dog was safely confined inside the house. No harm, no foul.
I believe that Common Ground-Doves may be nesting in the Laurel Oak tree. I see a lot of in and out activity and they’ve attempted to build there in the past. I’ve peered between the branches, but the tree is pretty thick with leaves and birds can be very cagey about how and where they build, blending in so they are hard for predators and nosy camerawomen to find.
Now the pièce de résistance! The bluebirds have built in the nest box to raise 2014 brood two. I can monitor this from my kitchen window. No eggs so far, but Mom was testing it out for comfort the other day.
Florida isn’t the only place that is a hotbed for nesting. The northern states are beginning to see nesting activity after the long, cold, snowy winter.
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