Winter 2008, I mounted a bird house on the pergola outside the living room window. I did buy a fancy plastic screw on bird house protector because the location, while up high, is probably accessible for a smart cat. Still, I did not expect it would amount to much, until this spring, when I saw two little chickadees start a nest there a few weeks before the garden tour. But they were flighty in their attention, there a lot one day, gone completely the next. I read that they often build 5 or 6 nests, then settle on one, so I just carried on with garden cleanup and with the tour.
Imagine my delight when, a few days after the tour, the chickadees were back in earnest! My bird observation skills aren't great, but I do think for a while just one was flying back and forth, in and out, and now both are in and out from early to late. They're not thrilled if humans arrive in their corner of the garden, and get noisy and excited. And they try to pretend they're only having a look at the bird house, and only go down the entrance protector when they think no one is looking.
At the same time, two Towhees seem to have built a nest in the Lorapetalum right below the nest box. They were quite sneaky about it, casually hopping into the bush with a few twigs in beak, looking to be in the neighborhood. I actually crouched down and looked up trying to see the nest, because I thought they were up to something, but it seemed as if nothing was there.
Well, they fooled me for sure. It's now 10 days later, and I'm pretty sure they are feeding some baby birds as well. Hop, hop, up into the bush. A few seconds later, we see the upper right corner of the Lorapetalum move, which probably means the babies get fed. I really do wish I could stay home and keep watching the baby birds fly away. But I'm sure they'd do it while I wasn't looking, and the only surprise will be more birds in the garden....
(This would probably the place to apologize for the awful photos, but I'm actually thrilled I managed to get any at all. Maybe over time, I'll manage birds and butterflies. For now, I do prefer flowers -- and no wind... But I had to share the happy news!)