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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

This, my friend, is a House Wren. (UBBC #2)

Look at this fine little fella, only about 11-13 cm long and weighing 12 grams.

This is the story of Mr. & Mrs. House Wren and the meddling giant (that's me).

We have a little front porch on our house that is rarely used, for a number of reasons really, 
first we're kitchen door kinda peeps, second the front porch is a haven for the UPS guy 
to drop off all kind a crap that stays there for weeks (ahem)... nothing interesting so don't
even think about pinching it; and finally the damn front door handle broke and there's 
no damn door bell. I'm painting a picture of middle class lovelyness aren't I?

So, this summer the front porch has become home to several interesting creatures making 
it an exciting base for science class. There was the banana spider, a whole 'nother post, 
several beetles, and a little nest built by a loving couple of House Wrens.
I first heard the racket these tiny birds were making several weeks ago, early in the morning
tweet tweet tweet... "wtf is that" I bellowed as my mind raced with visions of birds 
flying around INSIDE the house... these things are tiny but my God they can tweet.
Then after a little investigation we found the nest and everyone was warned to stay 
away because we don't want to disturb the little fellas (even though they were disturbing me!).

 So.. moving on... there are eggs in the nest... and on...there are tiny baby birds in the 
nest... and moving on... Mama can't stand it anymore, she just HAS to get the Nikon
out and take a peak!!!! 
So balancing on the top of a five gallon paint bucket (yes the picture of my porch is getting more 
fabulous by the second) I carefully poke the leaves away from the top of the nest to take
a look... all the while the parents are screaming at me from the bushes just beyond the porch.
Yes... when you mess with their babies these little creatures get feisty and will 
scream at you!!!! Literally!!!! quite fascinating!!!! 

Anyhoo.. as i was trying to click away and get a picture, unsuccessfully I might add, 
one of the little fledglings (can you tell I've researched these birds) decided to fall
out of the freakin' nest, right there in front of me!!! 
I was mortified, I stood frozen staring at it and wondered what the hell I was gonna do to 
save it's life, and mine for that matter, because by now the parents were really pissed!!!! 
And quite rightly so.. who was this giant messing with their kids, and why doesn't she
take her damn Nikon and get lost???
So I went inside and peaked thro the glass in the door while they desperately tried to show little 
fledge how to get back up using the kids bikes as stepping stones, he had no clue 
bless him... and he only had a little, tiny hop... see...

I know... now y'all hate me dontchya? 

I was feeling hideously guilty for poking my nose in their family beeswax and so I stepped
out onto the porch again, to more screaming, and I put the hanging plant pot (fake ivy!!) on the ground so 
that he wouldn't have far to hop back into it. Then I left them alone... but not for long! 
I sneaked out the kitchen door this time and walked around the house to check on them, 
the nest was empty and there were a bunch o' screaming birds all trying to herd the
little ones to a safer place, on the side of the house,  away from nosey giant lady. 
That's when I took this pic, and his gorgeousness pulled up in the driveway! 
"wtf are you doing?" he politely asks, "killing baby birds" i reply.
Then i felt really bad because I had been caught in the act of my stupidity and because
I know I had a look of anguish about me. He immediately made me feel better by
consoling me with the news that they'd be snake food anyway!!!! 

OK... well that's that then, lets have lunch shall we. 

Later in the afternoon I picked the girls up from their first day of school and when we arrived
back at the house I broke the news of the bird disaster.... Syd AKA David Attenborough..
was amazingly calm about it. I felt for sure she'd be on the phone to Ornithologists Against
Nosey Paparazzi or some such terrorist organization, however, she was very cool and 
told me it's OK, there are plenty more Mama. Whaaaattt??? this didn't sit well with me 
at all... "there are plenty other kids at your school so should I just abandon you?"
was my reply. Calmly she told me "no, that's just silly". 

As I write this recollection of yesterday's bird disaster (as I will call it from now on) I can 
hear some little tweets from outside the window. So they haven't totally abandoned me!!!
I will, however, from now on keep my nose and my Nikon to myself and only capture 
what the little fellas allow me to.



Char said...

oh no!! i would have freaked.

Snap said...

You are too funny! they were probably ready to fledge anyway. They'll be back!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

That picture is unbelievable! Those little legs are stretched so far. The fact that you still hear chirps is a good sign.

Tracie said...

You'd better hope the Peta freaks don't find you!

Great picture!

Julia said...

We have hummingbirds around here, they are so tiny but incredibly feisty too. They have no problem being around humans.

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