Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What's in that Hole?

Whose sad looking, hungry face is peaking out of the nest cavity?

I headed out at lunch today to get some outdoor time before the afternoon storms and social activities this evening. In an attempt to beat the heat and (for Colorado) humidity, so that my coworkers wouldn't throw a protest when I returned, I headed for a woody stretch of path running through the Dutch Creek Open Space in Louisville. Even so, walking the first bit through a still, open, field before the cloud cover reached me was a bit warmish. I reached the trees and drank in the relative cool of the shade. I was watching Robins and Grackles go about their business when something small and brown whizzed past me at waist level.
Another was just taking flight from a dead stump on the side of the path. There, inches from the bike and foot traffic, and no more than three feet off the ground - on the front side of the stump was an active House Wren nest.

I stepped back to the far side of the path, pre-focused, and waited for the parents to return. This one gave me a look that seemed to say, "If you have time to stand there and point that thing at my kids why don't you grab some food and stick it in those wide open mouths?" There wasn't much time for looking around though -

soon it was back off to the trees to pick up more carryout.

Back again, those mouths stay open.

A quick breather while on the hunt. It was interesting that once I had moved beyond the nest and onto a side trail I saw five house wrens all actively flying to two bare limbs at times. I am not sure if it was a common meeting point for all the parents between area nests, or what. It was the most wrens I had seen congregated though.

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