With all my travels I have been negligent in tending to Mr. Neil's yard. NBB and I finally had a chance to visit today. If you recall, the last time I was in his yard, all of his bird houses had been wrenned pretty hard. Okay, the wood duck box in that post had a few sticks, today it was this full:
Geez Louise! I have never seen a wood duck box so full of house wren sticks. This is insane! Mr. Neil said that he has seen at least one brood come out of the box. I stuck my camera in over the top to get a photo and discovered...
...brood number 2! There they are, two tiny almost ready to fledge house wren chicks. When I checked the second wood duck box about a quarter of mile away, it too was filled to the brim with sticks, but no brooding chamber, it was strictly a decoy nest. You would think filling up a wood duck box would tucker out a tiny house wren.
The wrens in the wood duck box did confirm something I have always suspected. I know Mr. Neil must have saw-whet owls on his property (habitat is so perfect) but I have never been able to find one. Here the wrens have found a saw-whet feather and lined it in their nest. Now, this is the second brood of house wrens, meaning the top nest was made fairly recently. Owls molt in the summer, are saw-whets nesting on the property?? Or was this an errant feather that fell over the winter? I have only looked for saw-whets in winter when they migrate down into this area, not really in the summer, perhaps I shall have to double up my efforts? This would be south of their traditional breeding range...hmmmmmmm. This is a very owly place, I have identified great-horned, barred and long-eared owls here a saw-whet would be nice to add to the list.