Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Second Look--June 18, 2014

This week the weather has been hot. And humid. And annoying with bugs buzzing in my face and mosquitoes biting my legs. Did I mention I love the outdoors? Did I mention I don't love the outdoors in hot humid weather? I guess you might call me a fair-weather outdoor lover.

One of the defending bluebirds
Nevertheless, I still love watching what is going on outdoors. This week I've been watching a drama unfold over one of the nesting boxes between a bluebird couple and a sparrow couple. This is the box that has already housed a successful brood of  bluebird chicks, and soon after they fledged, a bluebird couple started to hang around the box again. (I don't know if it was the same one or not.) Anyway, they had been going in and out, tidying up the nest, and acting just like they did before the last set of eggs was laid. But this week, the plot thickened. A pair of sparrows has been trying to set up housekeeping in this box also. The bluebirds are ferociously defending their territory, but cannot declare victory yet. I have seen both bluebirds and sparrows going in and out of the box today but no one has laid any eggs.

There is another bird drama going on the other side of the yard in another nest box. This was the box where a successful brood of chickadees was raised earlier. However, that was also where another bird started to build a nest on top of the babies before they were gone. I removed the extra nest, and after the babies fledged, the new nest was built again. That one ended up with two chickadee eggs in it before the activity stopped for a week or so. Then this weekend, the nest was empty and I found one of the eggs intact on the ground. Now, I'm waiting for the next development.

And in the third box, the wren has started to build again. I removed the last nest before any eggs were laid because bees took up residence there . We'll see if this goes any more smoothly than what's going on in the other boxes.

Believe it or not, I did see a few other things this week besides birds. Here a few of them I found when I took a Second Look.

Rozanne Geranium, Hosta, Pieris japonica

Moonbeam coreopsis

Day lily



Ousted Chickadee egg

Left--female sparrow. Right--female bluebird. These pictures were taken with in a few seconds of each other during one of the fights over the nesting box.

Wren nest that is being rebuilt.

Gray Squirrel. The squirrels aren't paying attention to the bird wars. They're just happy to eat their food.


  1. This is where our summer falls behind yours. Cool weather lingers, here until July. I can't believe you have day lilies in bloom already! Mine are still weeks away. Oh well, I'll just enjoy yours!

    1. I guess it's true that the ocean effects the weather--not as many extremes. A few months ago, you were ahead of us in vegetation. That's one of the fun things about the blog world--you can hear about differences from all over.

  2. I think one of the reasons I like fall the best of all the seasons is the lack of bugs! We've had a lot of rainfall so the mosquitoes are particularly bad this year. Boo!

    My peonies are in full bloom right now (although they are dragging on the ground due to the crazy amount of rain we got today--almost 4 inches). So pretty.

    1. We usually don't have many mosquitoes in our yard, but the rain we've had recently must be making them happy. :( Four inches of rain in one day is a lot. We haven't had rain like that since we left New Orleans.


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