After so many years of watching the House Sparrows nest in the vent across from my kitchen window, Northern Flickers are being spotted there consistently and poor Mr. is sitting over on my fence, crying the blues!  I feel sad…but, I guess this is nature at its most interesting.  I am amazed that these two, especially Mr. Sparrow, fought so long and hard.  At some point who wouldn’t surrender to this particular beak?  Not certain that the Flickers will raise young in this location.  It may be a mere hiding-hole, but we shall see.  I haven’t seen Mr. Sparrow at the vent opening since yesterday morning, so I would say, “he’s evicted”!  It’s been four days since I’ve seen Mrs. Sparrow, so I’m thinking that during the first days of encroachment, she abandoned her nest.  All nesting materials are to be found on the ground outside of that vent.

Happier Days, although the weather was brutal! March 11, 2018


Determination on April 18


Equally determined!IMG_6283

April 23


April 24 morning…the last time I saw Mr. at his window.


April 25 Ousted and not happy about it.


Home sweet home.



Lost…and all the best nesting sites taken.  And where is Mrs.?


Drama Out the Kitchen Window

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.

Birds: It’s a Big World!

Little Guy on a Big Front Door Step!

He’s gone. 

I’ve been held-up in front of the computer for days now, inputting data for the final report cards of the year.  My eyes are tired, but my heart is full and happy, given the completion of that huge task!

I went out into the gardens today to check on the status of all the growing-things, pulled some weeds and moved some dirt.  As I was coming into the house, I noticed this baby sparrow on the neighbour’s front step.  Dad was dive-bombing him and Mom was wildly calling from the roof above.  Babe…sat quivering, tucking his wee pink legs into his downy coat. 

My heart began to pound!  Rain clouds were gathering and I really was left with this feeling that I must, somehow, save the day!  Initially, I used an art exhibit invitation to ease him into a plastic container and took him back to higher ground, in my back yard.  He looks so vulnerable here, don’t you think?  Through that procedure, I basically learned that the chubby guy was in good health…he was fluttering his wings and grabbing with his feet.  I knew that this had likely been a case of failing his first flying lesson!

Our neighbourhood is loaded with feral cats and so my real panic was about the fact that the baby was so low to the ground!  Once settled on higher ground, in my back yard, I went to the front to discover Ma and Pa repetitively flying to the step where he had earlier been.  So….around I go…returning babe from a safe haven to a place of access for the worried parents.

There he sat, with me, every-so-often, wandering out to see Dad continuing to feed baby and Mom continuing her guard.  I appealed for suggestions on Facebook and after a few minutes of distraction, went to find that the youngster was no longer on the step or in near-by grass, bushes or garden beds.  So, today folks, I left it all up to nature, with no idea what became of this wee visitor.  A person can only wonder how such vulnerable creatures survive a world THIS BIG!  This little sparrow really impacted me this afternoon!