One of the things I love about where we live is that we can hear the birds singing all day. I’ve noticed, over the past weeks, that their singing is even louder than it has been in the past. Hmmm… could it be we simply have more birds around?
Why, yes, that is a distinct possibility, since I DID put up a bird feeder in September (Can Birds Smell?)
I was sitting out on the porch the other day just listening to the birds. I noticed one bird, in particular, kept flying away and then returning to the big, gnarly tree we have by the driveway. I got my camera, which I sometimes use as binoculars (I just fully extend the lens). And this is what I saw.
We have 3 birdhouses hanging from one branch, and a little bird was sitting on a little knobby area of one branch. I extended my lens to look closer. A little bird with a twig in his mouth. Was he resting? Deciding which birdhouse to use?
So I kept watching.
Ahh…ha. I think he was wondering if his twig was too big to get in the birdhouse that he had obviously already started making a nest in.
Obviously? Well, it was obvious to me after I climbed up the hill and stuck my cell phone as close as I could to the birdhouse “door.”
We have a covered wrap-around porch, and the rafters are perfect for bird nests. We seem to get one in the same place every year. So I decided to check it out. Not only did we have a nest there, but also we had eggs! FIVE of them!
I was standing on the very top rung of a tall ladder, holding my camera with one hand and trying to focus without falling. So I didn’t do a good job of getting a great picture, but enough to get a good idea of what I saw.
Have no fear, before touching the nest just this little bit, I hit up Google to see if it was okay.
If a person touches a bird’s nest, a baby bird or another baby animal, will that cause the adults to abandon their young because of human scent?
A: This is essentially a myth, but one that no doubt started to help prevent people from disturbing wildlife. According to a 2007 article in Scientific American, this prevalent belief that the scent of humans leads to nest abandonment is “for the birds” and denies basic bird biology and “animal parents’ innate drive to nurture their broods.” To begin with, most birds can’t smell well. With the exception of some birds such as starlings or turkey vultures that are able to hone in on certain scents linked to their food sources, most birds have a limited sense of smell. (www.adfg.alaska.gov)
But just to be sure-sure, I kept my eye on the nest throughout the next hour to be sure the Mom returned to the nest. And she did. Pretty much as soon as I went back into the house. I sort of felt like she didn’t trust me.
I looked at the nest last week and there were no eggs in it. From the quick reading I did, it seems that most birds lay one egg a day; and that it takes about 10 days to 2 weeks for the eggs to hatch. I am definitely going to be on the lookout for new little ones around here. And to think that they will be adding their song notes to the choir I already hear every morning, just makes me smile.
Share your own bird experiences with us! We want to hear!