Saturday, May 9, 2015

On the wing

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Lately, it seems like birds are everywhere. We've watched our baby doves fledge (and we can get into the side yard again now that mama is finished sitting on the nest). The LB tells me that there is a dove's nest in the courtyard at school too. He was outside, getting a drink of water, when he heard lots of "cheeping" above his head, he says. He looked up and saw baby birds poking their heads out of a nest built in the crook of a drainage pipe. I told him that we have to leave baby birds alone and maybe he should keep his discovery quiet. He looked sheepish and that's when I knew that he'd already told his whole class.

At home, we're now watching (more cautiously and from inside the house) as our resident road-runners create a nest in the vigas (beams) above our courtyard. They fly up with twigs and small branches in their beaks, using the trunk of the trumpet-vine as a stepping stone. Sometimes they drop their twigs and have to come down to pick them up. They're determined; the other day, I watched one of the pair - the male, I think - descend five separate times to pick up the same stick. He'd drop it, fly down to pick it up, fly up to a low part of the vine's trunk, drop the stick, and start all over again. They really want to build that nest.

I've had birds on my mind for a couple of months. In March, the Color Collaborative wrote about birds (my post is here), and I looked to books and the internet for ideas. One place I always look for visual inspiration is Etsy. I make treasuries from time to time, just pulling together some items I like on a general theme (you can see two others here). I've added bird-related art, jewelry, fashion and home decor, some very obviously bird-based, some less so, but I find them all interesting. You can click on each of the photos for more info on the item.

What are the birds doing where you are?

* This is not a sponsored post and I have no connection to any of the sellers, I'm just sharing some things I like.


  1. Here in Belgium, it is also bird-season :-) ! I always find it quite amusing when they build a nest close to our home - I love watching them ! At the moment, we have a nest of blackbirds on a terrace, really close to a sitting area in our kitchen - fun ! When I'm sitting in the sofa, I can quietly observe them.. I never realized it is the dad who feeds his offspring - mom is almost never around ! Only when dad starts to make a LOT of noise, mom comes to check things out :-)... Well hey, she had the hard work of pushing three eggs out ;-)))
    Do you have roadrunners over there ? So cool !! I have never-ever seen one in real life... Come to think of it, I think Roadrunner from the cartoon is the only one I know ;-))

  2. I was never that interested in birds until we moved here and can sit and watch their movements so easily. There is nest building going on here too. I think I am finally getting what all the fuss is about.

    Gorgeous treasury - I especially love that mosaic birdbath. xx

  3. I am very interested in birds, I like the fact they are descended from dinosaurs, and are incredibly intelligent, and (often) very beautiful X

  4. As you know, we're bird mad here. I always remember you talking about your road runners, they sound delightful. I'll look forward to seeing the chicks when they fledge if you have any photos. The Etsy things are lovely, especially the silver jewellery, I'm a big fan of silver jewellery. We were watching the swifts at our birdwatching place on Monday feeding their chicks. So nice to be in this stage of the life cycle again. CJ xx

  5. I love birds. We often sit and watch them after dinner this time of year, as the fly about in our yard eating from the feeders. I find the so interesting and very magical. We have an Eastern Phoebe nesting in our yard at the moment, and I am pretty sure there will be an American Goldfinch nesting somewhere nearby too as I saw mama bird with a few nest building materials this morning. And of course the robins are building nests too.

    I love that bird cool!

  6. I sat on the deck all afternoon aiming my hose at the debris stuck between the deck boards.. I got a lot accomplished! Only half done, though. And I heard birdsong all day, even a hawk. I've seen Goldfinches at our feeder. What a gorgeous day here. I hope your Mother's Day is awesome. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. Birds. I'm convinced that there is a nest of them in our attic. I don't know how they got in but I hear them in the mornings as I'm laying in bed. I put a hummingbird feeder outside of our big picture window at the lake this week. They have yet to find it, but I'm anxiously awaiting the day that they do.

  8. Hi Jennifer,

    I loved reading about your birds and I love birds here.
    We were watching a pair of little fantails flitting around in the trees outside when we were out on the deck eating breakfast and the other night I heard a morepork (owl) calling in the trees.
    Happy Mothers day

  9. We have a nest full of baby sparrows outside our bedroom window at the moment...
    I love the sound of your roadrunners building their nest. I keep finding little bits of nesting material dropped by the back door step so there must be some avian construction work going on there too...
    Lovely Etsy finds. When I left my job at the museum I bought some earrings from the shop as a keepsake: little bluebirds which look like sailor's tattoos. In fact I was wearing them yesterday :)

  10. I have house martins nesting under the eaves, they are noisy but lovely. We have Buzzards nesting close and Red Kites further up the valley. We do have a small Rookery near and I am not so keen on those.

  11. what a lovely treasury. I love birds, and feathers. I'm loving watching this bird webcam. click on the eagles on the left

  12. There has been a lot of nest building activity and little fledglings here, I could spend hours just watching what is going on.

  13. Gosh I think a lot of my days feel just like that birds picking up the same stick over and over again!! The birds here are attacking my garden (as always... the gate needs a repair) and the bowerbirds are collecting my blue clothes pegs for their bowers (their love nests)... cheeky things they are pinching them out of the bucket!

  14. oh this is what the bowerbird's bowers look like-
    thought you might like to see, they're so fascinating... sometimes they have so much blue stuff or flowers and the bowers are really pretty!

  15. I love to sit and watch the birds in my backyard at my feeders, birdbath & small fountain. I enjoy the activity, and sometimes (often) I'd rather watch them than do the yard work. They all fly up into the trees and scold me if I start walking around the yard. Your road runners would be amazing to watch!

  16. I think bird watching is something we all enjoy, I'm a little sad that the neighbours cats keep the birds away from my garden. xx

  17. I've had a huge hawk on my lawn the last few days, he/she is amazing. And we have an owl that comes and hoots in the tree next to my bedroom in the middle of the night.
    Hugs and Happy Mother's Day

  18. It's so interesting to read about your life Jennifer. We must have lots of nests of baby birds nearby as every day I've seen fledglings practising flying in the branches of the weeping pear tree. So far we've had robins, blackbirds, sparrows and blue tits. When they've finished flying they all come down to the pond for a drink and a bath. And today while we were sitting on a log having a picnic on the North Downs in Surrey, England we watched a bird of prey swooping and hovering and riding the wind. No way of identifying him unfortunately. Lastly my allotment is on the edge of a Common famed for its nightingales and people come for miles to listen to its song. But my favourite birdsong which I can hear right now is the song of the blackbird in that magical hour or two between tea and dinner. Just beautiful.

  19. Ooh, I am liking the skull piece very much!

    The birds here are waking me far too early in the morning serenading the dawn, and I love it

  20. What a great collection, Jennifer. As a bird lover, I'll take them all, happily....I'd love to wear the last bracelet. Had a great bird experience today - saw my first ever red cardinal, in my daugher's garden in Canada. :))

  21. Oh....Im drooling over those finds from Etsy!!!! I will have to have a closer look at all of those Jennifer! I would so love to be able to watch roadrunners do their thing....just such an interesting bird! We have all kinds of birds in the yard now and a few nests as well! Have a great week and Happy Mother's Day! Nicole xo

  22. I think one of my most favourite sounds is birdsong - I never get tired of it ! Beautiful picture collage, Kate xx

  23. Isn't it just so amazing watching the birds. Today we have been watching the Mummy Blackbird out on the lawn feeding her baby, he looks so plump and fluffy and she, poor thing, is looking rather thin and scraggly! Some lovely etsy finds, thanks for sharing. x

  24. Hey Jennifer,
    As you know I like all things bird. This morning I was able to capture the robin and the lady blackbird on my camera. There was a thrush trying to get into my greenhouse this evening too. I snapped him as he his in the lilac bush waiting for me to go away. We also have wrens and blue tits making daily appearances. I have two birdy brooches that I like very much. They were presents, and I wear them on my cardis.
    Leanne xx

  25. Having been reared on business poultry farms I have not always had a positive interest in birds, but a fond memory is of my dad calling my mom and me out of the house to witness a V of geese flying over head one crisp Fall day. Another fond memory is of looking out the window of my high school civics class and spying a nest of beautiful light blue robin eggs in a bush below the windowsill. Sadly for me, when I looked again in a few days the eggs were scavenged by some other creature to help them survive in their circle of life. Your photo of the vulture reminded me of seeing a large bird by the side of the road when my son, Tim was driving us down to CA two weeks ago. I whipped out my cell phone and consulted Google Images and discovered we had seen a turkey vulture! Thanks for an interesting post, Jennifer. I enjoyed reading the comments above, too :) [sometimes an advantage of being late to
    Gracie xx


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