We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, August 5. 2010
Bird in the hand du jour - Carolina Wren - and birds in the house
A re-post from a couple of summers ago -
Two young Carolina Wrens fecklessly fluttered into our den today while the door was open. The pup promptly swallowed one, as any half-trained retriever will do, but I gently grabbed the other and carried him out to a safe branch. He crapped in my hand, but I don't mind that at all. Glad to be of service. I will take it as a frightened "Thanks," like when God grips you.
Birds frequently fly into our house. A couple of years ago, two dumb young flickers flew down the dining room chimney, and their beaks are sharp. They were tough to catch with the 11' ceiling. But I will never forget my friend who found a befuddled Screech Owl perched on an andiron in his fireplace. He called me and asked what to do. I said grab him firmly but gently around his wings, and open your hand outdoors. It worked out fine, but the bird was confused a little by the sunlight and took a magical minute or so to compose himself perching on his hand, reorient himself, and then to fly into a dark, dense pine.
Our Carolina Wrens are noisy in spring (a piercing "teakettle teakettle teakettle"), invisible during their breeding season, and out and about again now. I thought they were migratory, but I had one at my feeder last winter, and apparently they are not, entirely. Harsh winters kill them off, but their populations bounce back.
They look twice the size of our happy House Wrens, and are noisier. Rugged little guys.
Posted by Bird Dog in Natural History and Conservation, Our Essays at 15:43 | Comments (14) | Trackback (1)
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
We have several nesting places on our property where Carolina Wrens, well, nest. In each of the past ten years one of the most used spots is in under the porch roof in the southwest corner. We facilitaed it by placing a small woven basket fixed in that location. It's out of the wind,rain, and provides an ideal location for them. We can easily see the nest from inside the house and we've decided this year to afix a camera aimed inside the nest. I'm sure we'll watch the computer all the time as things develop.
One year we had five little ones make it to the flying stage and whatever freedom they could have. My wife and I feel like proud parents. They are cute as can be and we try to keep nesting material close for them.
A neat little birdie.
Every year we have Carolina Wrens nesting in the top of one of our 100gal LP gas tanks. It provides a sheltered area that apparently is difficult for snakes to reach. The nests are made of sticks, pine needles, leaves, and moss, which the parents are able to find easily in our deciduous forest. Every spring I lift the top of the LP tank to check on their progress, and frequently one of the parents flies out, only to alight on a nearby branch and "fuss" until I leave the area. Brood is usually three to five youngsters. Very distinctive birds with the prominent light colored stripe across the eyes and, of course, the "teakettle teakettle teakettle" call you mentioned. This year in VA we have lots of them for some reason. They stay all summer. We used to also have some Whip-poor-wills but they are gone now, probably due to too many people. We also enjoy the Wood Thrush for its beautiful lilting call, but it also seems to be more rare that it once was. Sigh.
There are few woodland sounds as magical as that of the Wood Thrush.
Will wonders cease to exist. I always knew you lived in a barn. Great pick and a nice post. I hope you close the barn door at night.
Habu making bird comments; I'm going to church right now to get reborn :)
That was an old post. I just updated it with the new bird story.
Except for hermit thrushes - heard and saw them in Poultney, VT this week, walked right up to one singing on a fence post. Even more flute-like, ethereal than the wood thrush. I see why VT picked it for the State bird.
We got sick of letting the dog in and out of the house and installed a "doggy door". The cats soon learned to operate it (faster than the dog, actually).
A few days ago I came home to find a full-grown female robin flying around in the house. After opening the front door and running around like a fool, Mrs. Robin finally flew out. I related this to my wife later, who informed me that recently she had observed one of the cats climb up in a tree, seize a bird, and jump to the ground with it.
This cat has been previously observed bringing in mice and, on one memorable occasion, a chipmunk to play with. The chipmunk was resident for a week and was setting up housekeeping under a bookcase before I gave up on non-violent means of getting rid of it and resorted to a rat trap baited with peanut butter. So, connecting the dots, I figure my cat brought the bird in.
You can easily capture indoor birds with a long stick.
Just poke the bird whenever he lands. The idea is to keep him airborne.
Owing to induced drag, low speed flight is extremely inefficient, and the bird will tire very very fast, and collapse in the corner. They can make it to Argentina but not across the room for a few minutes.
Then scoop him up in a hand and carry him outdoors.
Three days ago a kestrel with an injured wing was in the flower bed in front of my house. I put on gloves and was unable to catch it; it hopped fast enough to escape into some bushes down the road. The next afternoon I spotted it, threw a blanket over it and then put it in a cage with water and some earthworms. It died that evening before the folks from Division of Wildlife could come to get it. The previous evening when the injured kestrel was outside the night time temperatures were in the 40s. The next time I find an injured raptor I will resort to the blanket technique for an initial try at capture.
My home has a pet door and when the cats bring small birds inside a butterfly net comes in handy.
Our beloved state bird. We have several around the homestead daily and enjoy them tremendously.
I rarely see them around here, State bird or not. Wish I did as they are cute little buggers.
We'll post links to sites that have Friday (plus or minus a few days) photos of their chosen animals (photoshops at our discretion and humans only in supporting roles). Watch the Exception category for rocks, beer, coffee cups, and....? Visit all the boarders, Link to the Ark and check back for updates through Sunday afternoon! You can find out how to board the Friday Ark at the Arkive page. Cats...
Tracked: Oct 26, 17:49