Thursday, June 9, 2011

I'm growing birds in my garden again!

I have birds nesting in my garden again this year!

Last week, I was starting to feel very sad, because there were no birds nesting in my garden, so I assumed that I was not going to have any birds nests in my garden this year. Every year that I've lived here, including one year when I was not able to deal with a garden, so I just had a hanging basket or 2 out there, I have had at least one bird family build a nest in my garden.

Well, it was silly of me to think that it was too late for birds to nest out there. For one thing, it was not actually late. I pulled up some of my pictures of nests, eggs, and baby birds, and the nest pictures are all from within a week of today.

There are 2 nests out there right now, and I think a third is likely in the near future. For those of you who don't already know this, I'm not talking about a big garden or yard. I live in an apartment, and my garden is in containers on my balcony. It's a nice big balcony, but still only a balcony.

There is a Carolina Wren nest in my topsy turvy tomato tree. So far there are 3 eggs in there, and I think they usually lay 4 or 5 eggs. Carolina wrens build cool burrow-ish nests in enclosed places. They're tiny birds, so they hop into the holes in the top of the tomato tree, then they dig a hole, and build a nest in/around the hole with soft decayed leaves and bits of plastic and things.

There is a House Finch nest in one of my hanging baskets of petunias. I learned several years ago that house finches think that asparagus fern is a fabulous nesting material. I learned today that Thyme is really nice for building nests. I would be annoyed, except I was not likely to use THAT much thyme, and anyway, wouldn't you want a pretty nest made of thyme for your babies? They build really nice, strong, well woven nests, with sticks and grasses and asparagus fern and thyme. They line it with soft bits of lint, feathers, etc.

I think that there may be a Mourning Dove nest out there soon. I went out and startled one who was hanging out in one of the other hanging baskets. Their nests are very minimalist--not much more than a bit of a platform of sticks. We'll see soon enough if she was just resting there for a bit, or getting settled in to build a nest.

I also have bunches of baby tomatoes. I have 5 plants out there this year, and they're all producing. Last year I had 2 plants that never produced anything, so this should be fun.

Baby Purple Cherokee Tomatoes
Baby Patio Tomatoes


Alwen said...

You aren't kidding about the minimalism of mourning dove nests! We had one in a scrubby little Scotch pine by our yard, and it was just a heap of pine needles on a branch.

By the time the nestling was big enough to leave, it had trodden most of it through, so the poor thing was mostly just sitting on bare pine branch, ouch!

(And bizarrely, my word verification is nestr!)

Sandi said...

Hello! Found you on Artfire. I'm trying to network with other pagan shops. Still figuring it all out. I added you on Facebook too. I look forward to reading your blog new friend!

Vanessa said...

Hi! Found you on Ravelry. I just moved to Nashville from NYC and I love how there's a wider variety of birds all around here. I haven't seen any nests near my apartment building but I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.