|Marge (or Studley)|
Well, I’ve been watching, and it’s a regular hormonathon out there. The birds are chasing tail all day long. I don’t know if they’re kissing up or beating up, but something’s up.
Not a penis though. We don’t have any ducks, geese, swans, or ostriches in the vicinity. Most everyone else of the nouveau-dinosaur persuasion around here has to make do with a cloaca–in fact, making doo is one of the things they do with it–and by all appearances, there are a lot of folks here wanting to get into a close cloacal position together and swap bird schmutz. It’s only third base, but that’s all the bases they got to work with. So tail is being chased. That’s the only thing being chaste.
Some are being chased away. Juncos are herding robins right into the cherry tree. Robins are bigger than juncos but they don’t seem too fierce. It’s probably the worms. Sometimes a spare junco drops out of the cherry and gets chased by another junco. From a distance I can’t tell if the spare is an object of desire or a rival. But they’re all busy staking out their little kingdoms and interlopers must be routed.
|Last Year’s Windowson Baby|
Not everyone is going to get lucky, I imagine. But everyone’s thinking about it. Those unable to defend their kingdoms are congregating at Phi Crappa and bragging about all the cloaca they get.
The suet feeder demonstrates the pecking order in this yard. Chickadees give way to juncos. Juncos acquiesce to song sparrows. Starlings rout those, and scrub jays and woodpeckers can dine unmolested. (Scrub jays will perforate anybody, and everyone knows it.) And for some reason they all step aside when the bushtits arrive. That’s because although bushtits are very small, they’re very plural. Nobody knows what to do about them. A perfectly sturdy junco will perch sullenly on a branch and watch the suet feeder turn into a fluffy bustle of tits, looking like a grumpy old fart on a park bench when kindergarten lets out.
Well, clearly it was time to put out the cleaned-up birdhouse for our resident chickadees, Marge and Studley Windowson. Marge and Studley have been rearing chilluns in that house for six years now. And as usual they did come to check it out.
But so did a pair of nuthatches.
We do not know how that will go. The nuthatches seem a little more serious at this point. They’re pecking at the hole. Everyone wants to put their own stamp on a place. Person buys a mid-century ranch, and the first thing he does is swap out the garden gnomes for pink flamingos. Marge (or possibly Studley) is over in the crape myrtle scolding Studley (or possibly Marge). I told you we needed to put in an offer. We’re going to get aced out by Californians with cash.
It could go either way. The specs for a nuthatch house are the same as for a chickadee house. The birds are all of a size, and frequently associate together. In fact, nuthatches are said to be able to understand spoken Chickadee, if not speak it themselves. So for all we know the nuthatches found out about the place when the chickadees started talking about the old homestead. Loose beaks boost sneaks.
I’ll take what comes. Dave is very fond of the Windowsons and is wondering if he should nail up a new house in the same tree. We don’t know what kind of zoning applies. Could be too much density puts off both species. I’d be cool with the nuthatches. I can tell them apart.
There's always a similar situation here: a hotly contested nest box outside of my computer room window. It's been in the Sparrow family for generations, but every year a Wren will show up and start making trouble. Sparrow brings in furniture, Wren throws it out and brings in his own… which Sparrow promptly throws out to the curb. Words are exchanged. The Sparrows generally win in the end, but by the time everything is resolved, they only have time to bring up a single brood. The Wrens have plenty of wren-sized nest boxes to choose from, but it seems that they want to live large in a McMansion.
I've heard those wrens are nothing but thugs. I don't see wrens around here that often, but they're here.
Before you nail up a new house, you should check with your local zoning commission!!
We did, and we won't!
I love hearing about the Windowsons. Today's favourite line: "… like a grumpy old fart on a park bench when kindergarten lets out."
And "Loose beaks boost sneaks."
Okay, two favourite lines. But it's dang hard to choose!
It really cracks me up to see these birds chasing each other hither and yon, and then the tits show up, and no one knows WHAT to do.
They say there are tits near here, but I never get to see them.
That's a whole lotta puns before breakfast…
And, just to make you feel better in the ID stakes- I couldn't tell a chickadee from a nuthatch.But I'm good with drongo and koels!
Yeah! And I'll bet you're FABULOUS with tater tots and a side of sprouts!
You better believe it, pardner…(do I sound like John Wayne?)
Sounds like you need more housing. Hope you get to have nuthatches and chickadees and even wrens.
Too small a yard…and if you recall, we just took out one tree. Although the birds hated that tree. Well, BECAUSE the birds hated that tree.
With an urban renewal program you could build a whole slew of low cost, subsidized housing. No cloaca inspection necessary.
Yeah, with the cloaca inspection you're getting into a whole other business.
Big, big smiles. Pecking order doesn't seem to relate (much) to size here either. Some of the smaller birds swagger in and the big ones hop away.
Hummingbird vs. nuthatch appears to be a complete stand-off.
Raise the rent and you will get the tenants you want!
Hmmm. How much money does the average bird couple make in a year?
See, now we're getting to the heart of it. Everything's getting gentrified around here, and the older residents are getting pushed out. The whole neighborhood is getting unaffordable for regular folks.
Just remember the more bird houses you have the more cleaning in the fall or cold early spring!
Or less, if they head for a sparser neighborhood.
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