July 18, 2012

Held Prisoner by a Bird

Since I first started this blog, I have written at least one post each summer about our encounters with the Cordilleran flycatchers who like to nest on our house.

So call this All My Flycatchers, Season Eight.

In 2009, after some remodeling meant that their former favored spot on the veranda roof-support beam was not so private anymore, I built them a special flycatcher-nesting ledge, in a safe spot high on the back wall of the house.

It was a bigger success than my nest box projects.

This year they built a nest, but in the heat of June never laid any eggs. Or if they did, something got them. I never saw any.

But the flycatchers themselves were still around, calling, fluttering under the eaves.

M. and I went away for half a day a week ago, only to come back and find a new nest built on the front porch light.

Now if I had been smart, I would have removed the nest from the special flycatcher nesting ledge when I saw that they were not using it. They will not re-use a nest. Then they might have re-built and nested there. Instead, the nest is on the porch light.

Lucinda (all females are named Lucinda) has laid two eggs instead of the usual four. Must be a bit of late-season economizing, because normally the chicks would be hatched by now.

She is sitting the eggs — right by the front door! Obviously, we don't use that light.

In the summer, we use that long covered porch as an outdoor living room-dining room-work room. But walking out the door means scaring her off the eggs. Going out the back and coming up the steps means the same thing.

Dog traffic doesn't bother her, perhaps because she can look down on them. So I laughed when I saw M. crawling on hands and knees out the front door to bring in something from the porch.

Then I had to do it too—it's either that, or go out only when the bird is away from the nest.

Sure, we can go in and out the back door, but we miss eating outside.

It makes me feel more cooped up — that and having to do a lot of editorial work. So I have "penciled in" a fishing trip this evening, weather permitting.


Holly Heyser said...

Good thing it's not a mockingbird nest - every living creature within 100 yards would've been hazed to death by now!

Cat Urbigkit said...

I Los that all females are named Lucinda! Great post.