Consider Yourself At Home

Recently Judy was on the back porch and noticed a small bird flitting in and out of the bird house that hangs just outside of the windows.

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Apparently it was making itself a nest.

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This bird is not exactly colorful and yet possesses an engaging personality.

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We couldn’t figure out what kind of bird it was. Can anyone help with an ID?

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In migratory bird news, Baltimore Orioles have been plentiful since the beginning of the month.

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Catbirds also.

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Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks were plentiful for a few days, but then disappeared. That heavy lower jaw gives them a pugnacious look.

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There are lots of White Crowned Sparrows in the back garden.

We saw our first Hummingbird on Mother’s Day – and also a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher for the first time in the garden! Sadly, no usable pictures.

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Have you noticed any birds nesting in your garden lately?

67 Comments on “Consider Yourself At Home

  1. Hi Jason
    This is a House wren. Lucky you! Was it singing? They have an attractive bubbling song. The male will often build more than one nest in hopes of attracting a female. Hope you get a wren family in there. That will do a great job on insect patrol/control in your garden especially since you have planted all those natives in your garden!

  2. You have a House Wren in your bird house. What a delight. They are fierce little birds and always active. The male will squack at you every time you go near the nest. They have 4to 6 babies per nesting if they are lucky. They usually are. With your feeding set up I am surprised that Catbirds don’t nest in your garden too. Orioles like tall trees to nest hang their dangling nests in. I love Rose-breasted grosbeaks. They only stop in for a snack before heading north to nest. Viva la pajaro.

  3. My first thought was a wren, and I see others have been even more specific: house wren. I was thrilled to see your Oriole. I happened to see just one down on Galveston Island this year, at the height of the migration. They don’t linger here. They have other, more important places to go — like your garden.

  4. I have several birds, including blue birds, chickadees, and wrens. :o) Love that birdhouse! Wish I had your orioles!

  5. Your House Wren looks similar to our british wren, one made a nest one year on our swinging seat under the dead oak, we had to find another spot for our morning coffee until the chicks had flown . Lots nesting in the garden at the moment, soon we will have hundreds of babies on the feeders!

  6. Yes, a wren! How lovely. I recognized the markings on the wings. They are such pretty little birds, even if not as colourful as your other visitors, and they sing so beautifully too. 🙂

  7. Yup, a sweet little house wren (as opposed to a Carolina wren, which is ‘fancier’ and a tad bigger). I’m surprised it’s nesting in a house with such a large entrance hole, which would allow larger birds access. Fingers crossed, you and Judy will enjoy watching the antics of these wee charmers! They raise several broods a season, so don’t clean out the birdhouse after the first group has fledged.

    • I wonder if it’s a decoy nest. Wrens here build several nests (but only lay in one) to cool and discourage predators, mainly blacksnakes.

    • The hole may look bigger than it is. I’ve attached metal rings to all the openings that are set at the size for a wren or chickadee nest.

  8. Always enjoy seeing your Rose-breasted grosbeaks and Baltimore Orioles–so colorful. We’ve spotted hummingbirds for a few weeks now; robins, bluebirds, mourning doves. An Eastern towhees are calling even as I write this. We’ve been enjoying hearing their “Drink Your Tea” calls, noticing this year especially the call is often a shortcut version of the phrase. Enjoy watching the wren.

  9. I’ve never seen a Baltimore Oriole here and have wondered why. But I can see from all your feeders why the birds flock to your backyard–looks like a feast! We do have a lot of other bird activity, however, including a flock of barn swallows. Often times when my husband is mowing late in the day, they will follow him and swoop down to catch all the flying insects stirred up by the mower. Great photos!

  10. Ooh, lucky you, a wren! I have two wren houses – must get them up soon or I’ll miss out on their lovely song. I think sparrows are nesting in the arborvitae, although the dogs try to scare them away. I stopped feeding birds for a while because the sparrows bullied everyone else away plus they were damaging my tulip tree – my backyard is too sparrow-friendly. I’m going to set up in the front yard this year.

  11. I love house wrens –there is something about the way they perch and sing that is really delightful. However, they are also pretty aggressive. The male will make many nests for the female to choose from, and if he wants a nesting area he will peck existing eggs and baby birds to death to get rid of them. We have to patrol our bluebird house regularly to protect the eggs and babies.

    • We occasionally see blue jays. They like peanuts in the shell. Lots of Robins. One of them nested in a rosebush last year.

  12. My little house wrens are sitting in their birdhouse here in the front. Not sure if the backyard house is occupied yet.

  13. Yes, as the others say, it’s a house wren. We’ve had them here some years and often they’ve nested here. Their songs are so endearing. I think we have veery thrushes nesting back in the woods; earlier in the season some hermit thrushes traveled through, but I think they’ve gone further north. We definitely have robins, cardinals, chickadees, and nuthatches nesting here. I’ve seen many male hummingbirds, but no females yet! I hope one or two will select our property for nesting this summer. They are so fun to watch! Enjoy your little wren friend!

    • Wonderful to have all those birds nesting in your garden! Some of the birds who come to the feeders may have nests in or near our garden, but I haven’t seen them.

  14. What a cute little wren! I haven’t seen one in a long time! You have lots of beautiful and colorful birds at your feeder! I noticed our first hummingbird yesterday. it whizzed right past me and scared me!

  15. We had an oriole stop by the other day. I’d like to get a feeder for them as our feeder has opening for smaller birds-mainly to keep squirrels out. Great oriole setup.

      • We did get a not as pretty as your feeder for our yard to entice some orioles, and a small jar of jelly. I heard butterflies like it too, although I think bees might find it and the ants as well. Experiment I suppose.

  16. Wrens of all sorts are darling–such engaging personalities and beautiful songs. I didn’t see any orioles this May; darn, I guess they’re all up north now!

  17. How wonderful! We love watching the birds around here too. We don’t have any nest boxes up – that’s in the plan – but there is a mourning dove nesting fairly low down in one of our trees trees. We love mourning doves & check in on her once in a while.

    • I haven’t ever seen a mourning dove nest. We also enjoy watching the birds from the back porch. We like the birds to come to us, rather than the other way around.

  18. Lucky you! You have House Wrens! I have had wren houses in my yard forever but no one has ever used them. I did have my first Baltimore Oriole this morning but I didn’t have a feeder up until later as I never thought any visited my yard. But now that I’ve had one I’ll be offering up oranges and jelly…and wait.

  19. Have we notice any birds nesting?
    Oh my! Have you ever herd what happens when the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano? They keep coming up here, and then make their nests under all the highway overpasses, and the don’t shut up!

      • They jabber a lot. They don’t shut up, although it is not all that bad or loud. However, it gets our attention so that we see what they are doing. They build their mud nests where the eaves meet the walls, and make a mess of the paint. The do the same on freeway overpasses. Old nests can fall and crack windshields of fast moving cars.

  20. We have the usual suspects; magpies, collared doves, goldfinches nest in the Cypresses, they seem to love the compact, dense growth to hide themselves in.

    • Yes, a number of birds like that sort of dense cover. There are Red-Winged Blackbirds that nest in the hedges around the Lurie Garden. They will dive bomb you if you get too close.

  21. You certainly have a good selection of garden visitors. We’ve seen a Hermit Thrush and a Canada Warbler in our Chicago garden, besides the usual sparrows, robins and house finches.

  22. Loving your birds! That looks like our wren only a little bigger, our wren is one of the smallest birds in the UK.xxx

  23. Gosh, Jason, you have such exciting and colourful birds. We don’t seem to have anywhere near the variation in size and colours that you do. It must be fascinating to observe the character and habits of each species, very jealous!

  24. Looks like the choir is busy eating, nesting, and tuning up for the summer concert. Such cool birds!

    • We do get to see this Wren singing, sometimes perched on top of his house. An impressive song for such a small bird.

  25. Lots of birds in the garden this year – maybe more than ever before as the trees and shrubs start maturing.

    I think it’s been the usual suspects so far – mockingbirds, cardinals, finches, swallows and so forth.

    I did see what I believe to be a blue grosbeak (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blue_Grosbeak/overview) today – perhaps the first time I’ve ever seen this bird! It wasn’t in my garden though, but in a nearby wooded park.

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