For fifteen years my cute little ornamental birdhouse has hung, neglected and disdained from the eave of my garage. I assumed this was due to the classic engineering conundrum of an object made by someone who would never use it. However, early this spring I noticeed a pair of Black-capped Chicadees fussing around the nest. Then I heard distinct sounds of furniture being rearranged inside. Soon I was watching as the Mr. waited patiently just outside the house with a huge offering for the Mrs. He waited for over 30 minutes before finally poking his head in the door to beak her his tasty tidbit.
In about ten days I observed that trips to the birdhouse had increased dramatically. Aha, the trips were now carried out by the Mr. and Mrs. and their arrival was heralded by a faint buzz from inside. The buzz soon grew into raucous squawking. The originally brilliant parental feathers took on a dull, worn out look. Who has time for preening with all those beaks screaming? Then a precocious head began blocking the door to the house, hoping to strip food from the provider before its siblings had a chance. The noise became a cacophony of riotous, rebellious infants.
When the precocious one fledged, he landed unceremoniously on the ground and was soundly ignored by the parental food pantry which continued rigorous round trips to feed the remaining nestlings.
Squawk away young fellow. Mom and dad are busy!
Dang it, this thing is hard to wrap my feet around. Mom, Dad, I’m hungry!
Oh! Maybe they’ll see me here! I’m almost in their flight path!
Maybe if I fix my feathers just so, they’ll notice?
Okay, if I get closer to home, they have to notice me! (Notice his tiny wing flutter to get mom’s attention?)
Geezus, I’m starved! What took you so long?
Come on bro, it’s easy. Look at me!
But there were still about three more inside and they were the ones getting the most attention.
Next morning the youngster looked like he’d had a pretty rough night.
He was eventually joined by two siblings, and then the parents were flown even more ragged trying to find each squawking beak.
Those early flight plans don’t always go quite according to plan.
How’d I get here? Where the heck am I?
I kid you not, I was actually working on this blog post when this little fellow showed up. This is the first time I have been relieved that my dear old Poppy cat no longer rules the backyard.
And now my keyboard looks as filthy as my monitor. Thank heavens for a COVID supply of Clorox wipes.