Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bird Nest experiment results for Apr 22-24, 2008

If you haven't been following my backyard bird nest experiment from the beginning, you can read the original post about it here:

OK – now it’s official…I’m never looking out at the nest helpers for the rest of this experiment without having the camera glued to the front of my face. If I told you how many great shots I missed over the last 3 days it would make you shake your head in disgust. So I won’t disappoint you with the ones I missed, instead I’ll thrill you with the great moments that I did capture!

First of all let me mention that we have been given a reprieve from our usual battering winds out here since I hung the nest helpers on April 20th. This has been an absolute blessing and we have also been having beautiful sunny weather. On April 23rd we had a bit more wind and we did get some rain in the evening, but I’m happy to report that only a few feathers were blown away by the wind.

It has become obvious over the last few days that the only birds who are nesting this early are the black-capped chickadees. I must say, I’m totally in love with these little chickadees!

They explore and investigate EVERYTHING! I don’t think there isn’t a nest helper that hasn’t been thoroughly inspected by them at this point and I really love their open-mindedness. They check out everything to see if it can be useful and I've had loads of fun watching their acrobatics.

The chickadees are certainly not letting any of the dog fur go to waste. They have been picking at the light and dark fur equally and have not shown any preference for one over the other. I have a feeling that I will be out there refilling the dog fur sooner than the other nest helpers.

I suspect that the goldfinches will start nesting pretty soon. Most of the males haven’t finished molting into their brilliant summer yellow colouring yet, but there is definitely some courting going on! I caught this cute little couple checking out the nest helpers. All the goldfinches are really drawn to the bull rush fluff. These two each pulled out tufts of it, but then they wiped their beaks on a branch to release it. They seemed to exchange a look of “OK, we’ll be coming back for some of this stuff when we’re ready”. More than one goldfinch couple has done this over the last few days.

A few of the other nest helpers have been getting some attention too. Some raffia may have been taken and perhaps some straw and it looks like the shredded paper has been picked at too.

The bird feeders are still as busy as ever. Pine siskins and purple finches have been added to our group of regulars over the last few days.

Oh, and the best news of all – the great blue herons are back for the summer! Of course they won’t be coming to use the nest helpers, but I am just so thrilled to see them back again. I hope some of them will nest on our land down by the river this year. I’ll have to tell you all about my special relationship with the herons at some point – but that’ll be a story for another day.

Kathleen (aka TheNatureNut)


Gallery Juana said...

These birdies are cute and what a fun experiment! Your baskets are really cute and eco-friendly.

Plaidfuzz said...

That is so cool! All that snow in the background makes me cold, tho!

Anonymous said...

That's really neat...I haven't gotten a picture yet of the birds on our nest helper...but I have seen evidence that they've been putting it to use. The long pieces of coiled up yarn are now sticking out from it everywhere and the other materials have been picked at. It's so neat!! I wish I had a bunch more of them!

Hedgewitch said...

Wonderful photos .. and a great idea, I love the nest helpers!

BabyLyons said...

Very interesting, great blog!

snowy652 said...

that was so interesting -- I am going to share it with my dad -- he is a bird lover

blessings Shelley

1337 Art said...

Very interesting read!

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my Etsy Artist feature for crazytimescandles!

Sam said...

I just love the bird photos! What a beautiful hobby that must be. Thank you for sharing with us!
xx Sam

UniqueNurseGranny said...

So interesting.Funny about the finches and the dog fur preference.Your pictures are great.ccxwhxv

tattytiara said...

I love your nest helpers so much, and you've solved my dilemma about what I'll be getting my neighbours for next Christmas! Also, you rock for being good to birds.

Nodin's Nest said...

I dont think I have ever seen a nest helper before, what a great idea!

Cara said...

Thanks for comming to my blog. The nest helpers are great.

We have unlimited quantities of horse hair here. I brought gobs if it home from the stable one year and put it out on the lawn in clumps. My husband went nuts becuase he didn't know what it was or where it came from. It's white, of course!

I'm watching swallows refurbish their nest in my horse's stall. It's their third year at that nest. Made of mud of course. The year before last they laid five eggs in the first brood!

I like to watch the kildeer with their nest of pebbles and the pebble colored eggs, right on the ground in the open.

We also have many hummingbirds that nest in our magnolia tree. They are noisy and aggressive. One time I counted 9 hummingbirds that I could see at one time! Tey make nests out of grass. They look like baby socks, with the door at the top.

picciolo said...

hi, those nest helpers are great, what a wonderful idea! you got some great photos too
: )

Octavine Illustration said...

i love that you have created your own backyard aviary. what a blessing to be able to enjoy these beautiful creatures bustling away!~

BeadedTail said...

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing your story and great photos!