Tag / babies

Findings Gardening

Nesting Carolina Wrens

The Carolina Wrens were back this year to make their nest in the window box outside the kitchen window. As a surprise another couple, maybe one of last year’s babies, selected a very strange place to build a new nest.

This nest was built in the window underneath the air conditioning unit in our master bedroom.  It has been very productive!  This season the nest produced two clutches. Over the past few weeks, I had become very accustomed to hearing chirps and commotion every day around 4:30 am. This was the time the sun was rising and feeding time commenced. The routine became like an alarm clock to me; one that made me feel happy to know that the babies were thriving.

This morning around 4:30 am the nest sounded a bit frantic. The peeping was louder and I could hear the song of the Carolina Wren in the distance. It lasted no longer than a minute and then things settled down.  I went back to sleep. When I woke I glanced out into the yard from an upstairs window. I noticed something fuzzy on the back of the rattan chair below. I went downstairs to get a closer look. I had not a clue what it was.

As I slowly peeked at the chair from around the wall in the kitchen, I instantly realized what that fluffy shape was. It was the baby birds. All nuzzled together, they were fuzzy little bits of poofy new life. I watched intently not wanting to miss a second of this fleeting moment. Then, with the call of the parents, one-by-one they were off to start their new adventures in this new great big world.

Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest



Labor Day

Dolly wants to escape.  She has become pretty brazen.  In the morning, now as fast as her little body can wattle into the coop, she now tries to make a mad dash for freedom out the open coop door.  This is so unlike her.  Not caring to snuggle, she means business.  I’ve racked my brain why she desires to abandon her posh lifestyle of fresh organic snacks, an abundance of fresh well water and all the food she could ever want.  She is smart.  She wants more babies.

Dolly’s desire to leave must be coming from her desire to lay a clutch.   Dolly, our lavender Silkie Bantam, is a very broody girl.  Ever since last December, she experiences broodiness like none other.  Her pattern tends to be, lay an egg every day for 10 days.  Go broody for 3 weeks or so.  Come out of broodiness.  Recover for 2 weeks.  Start laying again and repeat.  Farmers would cull her because she is not producing regular eggs.  However, she lives here and we love her, broodiness and all.

Her determination and dedication is unfaltering.  Even though we harvest all eggs laid, she tries to steal other eggs laid.  As we no longer have a rooster or the capacity for chicks, we remove all found eggs.  Still, Dolly is content to sit on air.

Today, I paced it out.  Dolly is due to go broody again.  She just resumed laying eggs.  She is trying to outsmart me.  As I refilled the feeder and waterer, out she hopped and bee-lined it to the woods.  She is usually easy to catch.  Today was a little more difficult.  She wanted to lay and sit on her egg in a hidden location.  Yesterday and today she did the exact same thing.  Sadly enough, both days, I caught her and returned her to the coop.  Without any fuss, she journeyed out into the run, as if nothing ever happened.

I went out for brunch this morning and upon my return, checked for eggs.  I retrieved one from a nesting box.  Then, out in the run, I noticed that Dolly’s egg was there hidden beneath the coop’s ramp.  I felt badly taking it, however, knowing that it could never come to fruition and hearing horror stories of chickens discovering the taste of raw eggs.  I brought it inside and placed it lovingly in the refrigerator.

My sister is at the hospital today having her second baby and Dolly should be broody again in about a week.  Dolly had seven babies this past spring.  She was a wonderful mother.  I guess despite ever being done with  having children, the simple joy of being a new mom and meeting your baby for the first time is an magical experience, one that even a simple chicken, like Dolly, can remember.

Happy Labor Day friends!