12 July 2007

life in a treehouse

...or so it seems. we must dwell on stilts (technically called pilings) here by the bay, & that means we often have a bird's eye view...of birds! And their nests. Their eggs. Their hatchlings. Very cool stuff!

Over the course of the 2007 nesting season we have been privy to some 6 new families right outside our windows. Early in the season Betty the Bird (named by J & DM during their April visit!) came to rest & stayed for 2 hatchings - total of 2 new doves! Betty is a Mourning Dove, and was very accomodating to our observations. She also bravely endured one very severe storm while resting on an egg. You go girl!

While Betty was on duty in our Yaupon tree, on the other side of the house, a Mockingbird family was hatched in another Yaupon. Their nest was so very secluded that we could only observe their comings & goings and a few strands of nesting material sticking out of the thick foliage. After they "flew the coop" (sorry!), another Mourning Dove family built much higher in the tree - just outside my desk window! I spent many a moments watching their activity with my perfect view. Just a few days ago, both babies flew away & I was so very lucky to have the camera ready!
(One of the Doves is in the very center of the photo, but unfortunately is very hard to see. This was the moment just before they left the nest for good.)

Now, back to the original Yaupon...we currently have 2 nests going! Momma Cardinal is giving us the best view so far - her nest is so close to our window, we could reach out an touch it (but we won't!). We were able to watch her build the nest over a few days. And after it was complete, she laid three eggs! Right now she is incubating... And tolerating my camera with wary eye!
(Top photo: Momma is on the nest...notice her bright orange beak. Second photo: The first egg.)

Back in Betty's old nest, a Mourning Dove is again present with one egg so far (they sometimes hatch 2 in a brood).

Not all the action this year is right outside the window.

Some is in the yard...a family of Killdeer (dad, momma & 3 sweet little babies) has been feeding in the grass everyday for nearly 2 weeks. The babies are exact miniature duplicates of their parents - how precious. If our hounds go out the door a bit too fast, one of the parents herds the babies away and the other actually comes closer and mimics a wounded bird. Now that's teamwork!
(One of the baby Killdeer is located on the left side of the sidewalk, just before the beginning of the dock - they are tiny & FAST!)

Some of the action is, aptly, in the birdhouse!...3
Purple Martin families are lodging in our "gourds".
Some is even under our dock!...2 Swallow families have hatched so far this season. We are unsure of the baby count because they REALLY don't want us nearby.
(Look carefully on the right side of the dock - 3 swallows are sitting in a row just above the nest, found on the underside of the dock.)

And finally, some is in the neighbor's yard...our friends 3 houses away have a lovely Osprey family in residence. Watching momma & dad scoop a fish out of the bay and bring it in to the babies is quite a site! (sorry about the lack of photos for this one...we're working on it!)

1 comment:

sognatrice said...

Oh I just love watching birds do their thing--what a great view you have!