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July 9, 2022: Birds of a Feather

Today I stuck close to home because we have visitors coming tomorrow and I needed to get the place cleaned up. So yeah, I cleaned the upper quadrant, this includes the goat pen and the chicken coop. I also cleaned the first floor of our cabin.

Of course, I grumbled about this. I ought not have – Pete has never grumbled about doing what I did today. So strange, that I prefer the outside to the inside work. What in my genetics inspired this?


Birdhouse outside bedroom window

Since I was home, I was able to keep a close eye on the swallows who inhabited two nests just a few hundred yards from one another. There was a lot of swallow commotion – many birds up high at first, then down lower, bickering with one another.

Pete thought that perhaps the smaller swallows we saw flitting about had just left the cabin nest. I didn’t think so – I thought these birds, being more adept fliers, were at least a week old.

I went down and checked out the cabin nesting area. There was one bird looking out at the world, and an adult came and fed it. This was early on. I went back later and there were no birds between the slats.

I kept a closer eye on the birds that occupy the nest box outside our window. The parents remained diligent about feeding the one at the round entrance – I could see its huge mouth. Pete, at dinner, said that he thought that the bird left the box right before we sat down to eat. I said that I hope not and added that I enjoy having them around.

I’ll have a better sense of what’s going on with the sparrows tomorrow morning.

All this bird activity makes me glad that we did not get a cat. It would be hard to love a cat that left a bird on our doorstep.

The birds are now habituated to us, and they’re used to our comings and goings. I’m sure that they’d like to be elsewhere, but most likely all the good digs were already taken. They could have but did not attempt to divebomb us.

I need to find out more about swallows. Some questions I have are: do they migrate? How do they know when its time to push the young ones out of the nest? Do they inbreed? Is it mainly the father feeding the young? What do the birds do if a young bird dies in the nest? What happens if the young ones leave home when it’s raining?

I like being a backyard birder. I am limited because I have no depth of field, but I am slowly learning to identify various birds, first by sound, then by sight.

My sister and mother were avid birders. I don’t know if this was genetic or learned. And I don’t know, now that my mother’s passed, if my sister is still a birder. Hard to say. The adage, “once a birder, always a birder” probably will always hold true.

Next: 187. 7/10/22: The Speed of Light

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