The nesting instinct

When I was pregnant many years ago, I remember reading about the nesting instinct. Then, about three weeks before my baby was born I had a sudden, compelling urge to clean and prepare the house for the arrival of our new baby. It was as if there was nothing else more important in the world for me to do than to make our home perfect for this new life to enter it.

This week, the nesting instinct has kicked into high gear for the birds in our yarden, and it has been a treat to witness.

Male bluebird surveying his territory

The bluebirds have resumed their constant pecking at our windows and doors, as if telling us they are busy, and we should know it as they get on with their baby-business. Yesterday, we spotted momma bluebird bringing a mouthful of nest supplies to the box in the front yard.

Eastern phoebe bringing in nesting material

The phoebe’s are actively nest-building, carrying nesting material (lots of moss!) to their favorite nest site – under-our-front-porch-eave! We were sitting out on the porch for the first time in a long while yesterday, and they were clearly anxious about our presence, so we didn’t linger long.

Phoebe nest-in-progress

The Carolina wrens have built a massive, moss-lined nest tucked inside the top of our propane tank, and Poppa wren sits on our railing each morning singing the loudest song of all the birds in the yard. How that tiny body produces so much volume is beyond comprehension!

Carolina wren guarding his nesting territory
Carolina wren always ready to sing a song and defend his space!
The wren nest in the propane tank

In addition to the birds, I’ve accidentally uncovered evidence of slugs and spiders “nesting” all over the gardens during the past few days. Lifting up some mulch to look for new sprouts has revealed an alarming number of glistening round slug eggs and a few puffy white egg cases, sometimes with momma spiders attached! Fun surprises…

All of the nesting behaviors are perfect reminders that life has its way of carrying on, in spite of pandemics, weather, and other events happening around us. Life always seems to find a way.

Nest on…

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