New neighbor

We have a new neighbor — a pair of house finches who have taken up residence in our patio heater, displacing or replacing, a wren who had spent several season nesting there. Mr. H. Finch takes a moment away from homemaking to rest on the deck railing.

House finch
ON THE RAIL — Male house finch checks out the world from the deck railing.

Under seige

It’s that time of year again. The sound of “chip, chip, chip,” followed a series of thunks and talon scratchings against the front door and the bedroom windows. Claudia Cardinal(e) is back defending her territory to the south and the Mr. Indigo Bunting is doing the same on the north side of the house.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal 2

Robin takes part in an annual renewal of the species. Our second entry from this week’s challenge.

NESTING INSTINCTS — Robin incubating more robins at the Heifer Project headquarters in Little Rock back in March.

More renewal:

 

Don’t mess with mama

Killdeers are common on campus at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and by nature are ground nesters. The local populations seem to be partial to nesting in what seem to be the most vulnerable places. This one chose to nest in mulch next to a parking lot curb.

However, don’t under estimate the fierceness of mama birds. They can quickly become mama grizzlies if you get too close.  This killdeer mother was not afraid to protect her brood of three from the Friday Ride Day group that met just feet away.

CHARGE! -- Killdeer lurches toward the photographer who ventured too close to her fuzzy little chicks.
THREE IN THE HOLE -- The heads of mama's three chicks are barely visible in her shadow.
BRAVE ONES -- Two of the chicks explore their world.

 

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.