One of the reasons I feed backyard birds is because I enjoy watching them. Simple, right? I’m a birder. One of the pages on my blog is my Birder’s Life List.
I also love birdsong. Few sounds soothe me more than the morning trills and tweets of the birds in my lilac hedge, competing for their first seeds of the day via my feeders (or scolding me because I’ve let the feeders run empty!).
But another perhaps more important benefit to being a reliable backyard bird feeder, is the nest-building and breeding that happens on or around the property (important because we are in a time of declining bird populations). While enjoying my morning coffee today I noticed a pair of Robins collecting nest materials, as well as vigorously defending their territory. I grabbed my camera and sat awhile on the front porch to watch. They’ve been hanging around awhile, these two, scoping the joint to see if it’s a good place to raise young. I’m pleased they’ve decided they can trust me enough to settle in. It’ll be fun to see those eggs hatch, the parents feeding the chicks, and the fledglings making their initial forays out of the nest.
She’s got quite a wad of goodies to manage. But she did get it up into the rafters.
Her partner is keeping careful watch. I saw him rather violently attack another Robin in the area earlier. Have you ever seen birds fight? It’s not pretty.
There is an old nest from a prior year here on the property, and I was anticipating it might get used. But to date, no one has shown interest. Probably me running around with my cameras, prying, sent them over to the neighbor’s lot!
This is a newly erected garage with slick, fresh boards. A challenge to adhere nest materials to, and I’m curious how she’ll do it. I watched her nesting material fall again, and again, and again… Plus the breeze we’ve got this morning doesn’t help. But I also watched her persevere, and put it back again, and again, and again…
This pair, like every other pair of every other species on Earth, is Climbing. Part of our navigation through life is a drive in upward momentum. For them, for many of us, it’s about finding a partner, looking for a home, settling in, raising a family. Here is that basic life trajectory in microcosm. Their lives are shorter and, I daresay, in light of the human species’s dominance on the planet, more perilous than ours.
But the climb is irresistible. The instinct to take it on, in whatever form, drives all of us.let