[Tweeters] Honey, let's Nest!

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Tue Mar 25 09:03:19 PDT 2014


Just out the window, about six feet away from my computer, a pair of House Finches have been building a nest in a dense mass of Wisteria vines growing up a post at my parents house in Port Townsend. I'm camped out on the ground floor during my temporary job of herding the elderly. I imagine it sort of being like shepherding, without the dogs, and of course my parents have a lot more ideas than a sheep, so it's kind of a tricky job.



Back to birds, it's nice to be staying in a place where birds are actively nesting! Being somewhat distracted, I've never done a breeding bird survey of my yard in Everett. While right in the city, my yard is located fairly strategically for many flyovers, and migrants, which have inflated my yard list to about 60 something species, without really trying. Breeding birds - not so much.



In fact, I've only found one bird nest in my yard in 13 years. That was a robin nest, ironically discovered as I was destroying it, it being hidden in the dreaded English Ivy I was tearing down, 15 ft up a cherry tree. There probably is a House Sparrow nest somewhere in the prickly Holly tree, and maybe a Black-capped Chickadee around too, but maybe they're just in the neighborhood somewhere. I was excited last summer when some Crows built a nest in a street side Plum tree in the park next door. I guess I'll have to be a better snoop.



I imagine a House Finch couple shopping for a nest site in my neighborhood, and I really have to imagine it, because as I have lamented previously on tweeters, those birds seem to have abandoned my part of town, mostly.



Looking at my city yard in Everett, Henrietta and Horace House Finch, were shopping for a nest site.



" Well honey, whaddya think about this yard?" inquired Horace.



" Well honey, what I think is, we might as well commit suicide than nest here. Just look at that big fat black cat down there - a trained killer if I ever saw one!" (that would be Betty, alley cat, with semi-full disclosure, enabled by the Gibson's because my wife say's to. Our other cats stay inside).



" Actually", Henrietta continued, " this area is full of house cats running around. And those big fuzzy Eastern Gray Squirrels are nest raiders, and all those Crows, and even worse, remember roosting here last night?"



" Well I guess I sorta nodded off" Horace admitted.



" You were lucky you got any sleep, because I was watching the Black Rats around here all night, all over the damn place. No branch is safe from those tree climbing buggers".



" I hear ya Hon, how about we try Port Townsend?" says Horace, so they did.



Here at my parents yard in PT for almost two months now and I haven't seen a single housecat outside, nor an Eastern Gray Squirrel. What are around, are Coyotes, those fabulous cat eliminators. I've enjoyed their wonderful barking and yodeling on a number of nights here.



So nesting is more better here. Despite it being largely lawn, my parents place does have some shrubbery, and while doing some spring and fall trimming I found a Robins nest in a Japanese Maple, and a nest in a big sword fern I was cutting back, and another nest near the ground, in the blooming Red-flowering Currant. I suspect Junco's, but maybe Song Sparrows or Towhee. Will have to keep watch.



Somewhere nearby, no doubt, Anna's Hummingbirds nest (commuting to my folks feeder), and just across the street, a wonderful hedgerow is full of bird nests of various sorts. Nothing like some dense brush if you're in the nesting market. A half block away, is a block of tall firs, where the Bald Eagles nest, and no doubt much more.



Nesting - it takes some habitat.



Jeff Gibson

roosting in

Port Townsend Wa







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