Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Carolina wren is expanding her nest under my window

There is a bird nest under the window air conditioner. The bird made the nest some time ago, before I moved to this apartment. The air conditioner is nailed in and not removed during the winter. It seems like a pretty smart thing to do to build a nest there.

Under the AC unit in the windowsill well
This year the bird decided to build an annex. Who doesn't like to think about adding on sometime? This bird does. So this morning I and the three cats hear loud chirping and scratches and scrambling at the window. I go outside to investigate and the birds go bonkers inside, particularly the kitten, Murray. He tries to claw his way through the little extender arms that shut the inside from the outside between the AC unit and the wall. I nail heavy cardboard over it so he doesn't punch through and make a break for freedom, taking the bird with him. He still goes crazy, standing on tip-toe trying to see the bird. Bert is pretty interested too.

I go outside to investigate and this is what I see.

The bird goes in & out thru the hole at bottom left
What you see on the right is the AC vent and at the back is the slider arms that close the window next to the unit. Mere thin plastic separates the bird from certain gobbling as my formerly outdoor kitten hunches on the other side.

The bird is pretty tiny but did an amazing (and fast) job of building the nest. I stood outside against the garage directly opposite the nest to get a picture. That is the only spot I can stand due to the vantage point- too far to the right and the AC unit obscures, and too far to the left and the window sill obscures. I have to stand directly opposite and shoot the photo straight on. Luckily there is a tree next to me and if I stand still for a long time, the bird relaxes and starts building again.

Going in...
Coming out...
If I ever thought for one minute to buy a transparent window bird house, I have my answer. NO. It is too agitating for the cats and too aggravating for the human.

Birders, do you know what this bird is? Is it a Carolina wren?

Looking at the cats...

Here are some photos of visits by some other birds today--


Anonymous said...

Cool post. I checked my stokes field guide and that does appear to be a carolina wren.

Elizabeth Prata said...

thank you Jennifer! I can't wait until there are little birdies!

Anonymous said...

This is my go-to source for identifying bird. They have a myriad of information - pictures, calls, nesting habits, food preferences, migration patterns, etc. I also have some field guides, but I appreciate the sound bites on Cornell's website.


little artist said...

I have had three birds build nests around my house in Ala but the towhee abandoned hers almost as soon as she got it finished, a cardinal built one and laid eggs. A few days later the eggs were on the ground. I put them back in and in a few days they were cracked open. A robin built a nest on the window sill and laid eggs and then she was gone. A mocking bird built a nest in a crepe myrtle, laid eggs and then she and the eggs were gone. It is so disappointing to me. I had hoped to watch them hatch and then fly the nest. I am thinking I must have a snake that is eating them. We have hawks but I don't think they would come close enough to the house to get them. Have you noticed how the center of a magnolia blossom looks like a little woven basket?

Elizabeth Prata said...

Aw, little artist, I'm sorry aobut the successive fails on the nests and egs. I was wondering what happened to my little guy's nest. The day after she built it, the tower of moss and sticks was collapsed a little, adn leaning. There is a hole at the bottom where she used to go in and out, but I can't see anything in there even when I shine my flashlight- the angle is too deep, and I don't want to touch the nest. But I haven't seen her around since the nest was finished.I wondered if 'something' had tried to get it. But it's in the window with a protruding AC unit, surely another bird or predator would come that close,as you said.

I haven't seen that about a magnolia blossom but I will look when it opens up. Thanks!