Hatchlings

There’s a trio of waist-high holly bushes on the property that never seem to fill out; never seem to outgrow the term “misshapen.” Over the years we began to realize that all the pruning in the world wouldn’t help them achieve any sort of suburban landscape symmetry. Why? Because the deer do all the trimming, browsing tender leaves and leaving discards all over the front porch.  Earlier this month, we found the hollies supported another life — a tiny cup of tightly woven pine needles bearing three marble sized-eggs. Last night, we discovered the eggs had given way to tiny birds. Blind and almost featherless with their oversized yellow beaks straining upward for motherly fare.

Baby birds in nest.
Cupful of babies — Tiny birds wait on mom to bring some breakfast. Taken June 14, 2015.
Three eggs in a nest.
Three eggs carrying precious life — taken June 6, 2015.

Deceptive dance

This killdeer laid a clutch of green eggs in the mulch under a tree growing on the side of a parking lot. She executes an elaborate dance to draw away any one or anything that might bring harm to her brood.

DISTRACTION -- Mother killdeer tries to draw a potential threat away from her clutch of eggs by feigning injury.

Our truck is pregnant! (well, almost)

In four years of service, our SUV has proven it can climb like a goat, negotiate snow like a sled dog and carry furniture,  mulch and groceries like a champ. Also in its four years of service, it has served three times as a nesting site for wrens.  At one time, there was a nest in each rear wheel well.

We think the SUV  may have sheltered one brood successfully, but don’t know what became of the other brood, if there was one. Over the weekend, we noticed a telltale piece of bermuda grass was trailing out from between the wheel well and the tire. The nest, as yet without eggs, is pictured below.

Wren's nest
NESTING INSTINCTS — Wrens like to find little caves to put their nests, such as inside the dormant patio heater. However, the SUV’s wheel well is not a good choice.