I introduced you to Mr. & Mrs. of 2018 a few short weeks ago. That was before the snow and the storms that seemed to go on and on in April. While House Sparrows aren’t my favourite (is anyone crazy about them?) because they are such sloppy eaters and are actually pretty violent with one another, I’ve been, for years, fond of the nesters because I’ve learned so much about bird nesting behaviour and a couple’s determination. Conveniently located across from my kitchen window, my neighbour’s vent has been home to several mating couples, most unsuccessful with fledglings…except for last year, the first successful year in a while.
The past two mornings, pouring my first cup of coffee, I’ve seen this guy pop out…
While I love a Northern Flicker down at the river’s edge, moving into the core of dead elms…I don’t like seeing this! For one, what of my nesters? Well, Mr. was inside the vent at the same time, because shortly after this photo was taken, Mr. appeared from within, barking at the world and quite upset.
On April 17, when I first noticed the Northern Flicker demanding entrance into the vent, I also saw Mrs. after the entrance and departure. I have no idea the state of the nest or if there are any viable eggs at this point. On the 17th, early in the morning, I told my son, “We must have a hatch over at the nest because Dad is acting very cocky and agitated.”
But…as soon as the Flicker fiasco was behind them, Mr. began to do this…bopping in and out, removing nesting materials and dropping them outside of the nest.
Our neighbourhood, once spring is in full bloom, is a favourite hang out for Magpies and Crows. I’ve seen Magpies clinging to the edges of this vent, with beak fully immersed, on the attack. Northern Flickers are known for being destructive as they peck away for insects and spiders that tuck themselves under the edging of house siding. I don’t think it would be a wonderful thing to see a couple nesting anywhere near here. If they are scavenging and feeding here, also not a good thing.
I have no choice but to watch and learn. I suppose my readers would have reported all of this to their neighbours by now. I’ve wondered that myself.