|Late in April 2003 small-minded birds constructed a nest on our front door. Later that week a second, much more sensibly located bird's nest was found in a small tree in our backyard. This is their story.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE||NEST SITE NUMBER TWO||A PAIR OF BIRD LOVERS|
|Station Management front door. Note the decorative hanging metal girlie planter thing. Hardly the optimal locale for raisin' up those young 'uns...||What better place to raise rug rats than the comfy confines of a backyard tree?||Grace, maintaining high energy levels for the day we open the front door and those bite-sized morsels flutter clumsily into the house...|
|Side view demonstrating how nest construction took place between door and girlie planter thing.||Four eggs discovered within said backyard tree on Saturday, April 26th.||Frida, displaying one of her terrible (de)claws of Death.|
|Awwwwww. Three small eggs laid at some point during Saturday, April 19th.||Mom and Dad watch from on high, no doubt lookin' to swoop in at the first sign of trouble - one to hold me down while the other pecks out my eyes...|
|A couple shots of the mother-to-be. She's mighty camera shy, so clear shots of the little lady are difficult...||Possibly
the father. Possibly just some local dude hangin' out...
Mom has a gray coloring and spends most of her free time in the nest.
|Mom's been busy - found two more future mouths to feed on Wednesday, April 23rd.||Another shot of the backyard four.|
4.28.03 UPDATE: The
birds have been identified as "House
Finch". Perhaps not as 'cool' as a hawk or a vulture or a raven or
something, they are conveniently small and unobtrusive, and generally make
with the pleasant chirping-type noises.
Taking a look at the house finch incubation time, egg hatching looks like it could go down late this weekend or early next week. The backyard set could pop at any time, however, as their exact birth date is a mystery.
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.03.03)||NEST SITE NUMBER TWO (05.03.03)|
|UPDATE: We've got the Front Door Five scheduled to break through those shells at some point tomorrow (which would be two full weeks after the last egg was laid). The air verily crackles with excitement.||Saturday, May 3rd - 11:00am. Two out four eggs have hatched.|
|Close-up shot of the above. Big man on the right is still in the fetal position. Lefty on the other hand was floppin' his over-sized head all over the nest.|
|Great shot of the old man here...|
|By 6:00pm that same day the others had hatched and the first two were already looking for hand outs.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.06.03)||NEST SITE NUMBER TWO (05.06.03)|
|UPDATE: A whole lotta nuthin' going down on that front door nest. We should see some action tomorrow, however.||Tuesday, May 6th - 7:20am. All these bums do is dogpile on top of each other and sleep.|
|Buddy on the top of the heap here has got his beak facing the upper right corner... Again with the sleeping.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.07.03)||NEST SITE NUMBER TWO (05.07.03)|
|Wednesday, May 7th - 5:30pm. Two out of five hatched sometime in the late afternoon, right on schedule.||Cool picture taken last night with the flash...|
|Jus kickin' it free style in th' crib, yo.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.09.03)||NEST SITE NUMBER TWO (05.09.03)|
|Four out of five now hatched...||Slowly making the transition from fuzzy to feathered. Still big on sleeping.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.13.03)||NEST SITE NUMBER TWO (05.13.03)||BIRD LOVERS (05.13.03)|
|Looks to be a minimum of three birds, possibly four. Reckon there's a chance a small fifth guy is buried under the pile.||Eyes now open. Too young to fear cameras (or photographers).||Snagged a Medium Seed Tube from Wild Birds Unlimited over the weekend. Didn't take long for the backyard parents to find it...|
|A mass of new feathers. Quite a long way from just ten days ago. Actually lookin' like birds now.||
Scope the cool yellow house finch.
This feeder has quickly become Cat TV.
|UPDATE: Down to three birds in the backyard now. Last night one was, rather unceremoniously, booted out of the nest. Starting to question those house finch parenting skills...|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.15.03)||NEST SITE NUMBER TWO (05.15.03)||BIRD LOVERS (05.15.03)|
|Four birds in there for sure. No clue what happen to Number Five. Better not to think about it.||As the shorties get bigger, the nest is starting to get over-crowded. They may have to add another wing! Ba-dum-ba!||
That would be the not-so exotic
Brown-headed Cowbird atop the feeder.
"I'm tellin' ya fellas, your gonna want that cowbell."
|The fellas dig looking out into the yard, all faced forward like beaked infantry in some kinda miniature foxhole. Or something.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.18.03)||NEST SITE NUMBER TWO (05.18.03)|
|No longer facing into the yard. They are starting to react when the camera approaches now - jittery and uncomfortable.||One of these jokers finally comes up for air.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.19.03)||NEST SITE NUMBER TWO (05.19.03)||BIRD LOVERS (05.19.03)|
|If the Front Door Four are anything like the guys in the backyard, I figure they'll only be around another three or fours days before stretching those majestic wings.||This morning's picture turned out to be their last. The boys were gone by late afternoon, apparently of their own volition.||Bird watchin' works up an appetite...|
|The empty nest. Gone, just like that. You raise 'em up, you do your best. Pretty soon they are on their own in a cold, cruel world and all you can do, by god, is hope you taught them enough.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.21.03)|
|Big man on the left there was waiting for the camera to produce a meal of some sort.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.23.03)||BIRD LOVERS (05.23.03)|
|Who knew this would be the final picture of the Front Door Four?||No shortage of yer basic Red-Winged Blackbirds out back.|
|NEST SITE NUMBER ONE (05.24.03)|
All four exploded out of the nest when the
front door was inadvertently opened this morning. They lasted about a day
or so longer in the nest than the backyard pair.
The nest was, at this point, a giant bird bathroom - not at all pretty picture. At last the front door can once more enjoy regular use (after a thorough washing).
|5.25.03 UPDATE: About a month after it began, Operation: Egg Scramble has come to its inevitable conclusion. I don't think a single one of those ungrateful little seed-peckers we (practically) raised over these precious few weeks ever considered me or my camera to be a father-figure. I attribute this largely to my hesitation to regurgitate worms and seeds and stuff. Plus I'm, like, one thousand times bigger than their real parents. Regardless, I'll forever treasure the short time we spent together - oh the laughter, the tears, the bittersweet goodbyes... They grow up so damn fast.|
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