Maureen Larkin Wright - Welcome to My Little Corner of Virginia

Sparrows have a 5-note call

Come on out, Elizabeth, I'll clear off the other chair for you. It's that time of day/ evening when the green of the forestation is in perfect harmony with the gray sky.

Oh dear!! I just heard the wings of a hummingbird but the hummer feeder is still in the shed. I'm going to take a quick break and retrieve the equipment from the shed in readiness for tomorrow. How could I have been so negligent!! Quite honestly, I've been focused on the baby sparrows in the nest here on the porch.

Alright, I'm back. I'll make the nectar tonight, and fill and hang the feeder in the morning. Perhaps I should get a second feeder since two hummers do not feed at the same time.

Okay, I was talking about the gray and the green. This always is the perfect time of day. There is very little bird chatter tonight ...perhaps I'm not in the right location. In another month or so, I'll sit on the small wooden stool at the top of the rise near the shed and listen to the lullabies of the mother birds and watch the final rays of sunlight paint magical portraits through a stand of oaks and maples.

Speaking of mother birds, they are the reason for writing tonight. A month or more ago I saw a couple of birds scouting out the side porch. Someone told me that some birds will build a nest in the same place every year, given the opportunity. So I hustled out to the shed to get the aluminum camp stool... well, I don't really hustle anymore but I do pretend. I parked the stool in the same place as last spring. Almost immediately there was a flurry of nest-making activity on the camp stool.

These birds create a domed nest with the opening on one side of the nest. This year they made it easier for me to follow the activities by making the opening face the seat that I normally occupy. A couple of weeks ago, there were four tiny buff colored speckled eggs in the nest. Now there are four rapidly growing babies in the nest. The parents pay very little attention to me sitting here as they make trip after trip with food in their mouths for their babies. Oops, one just hit my pantleg.

I am baffled that the baby birds do not make a sound. They don't peep or chirp. As soon as a parent arrives with food, there is a wide-open mouth at the opening to the nest. All I can see at the time is one very wide open mouth. For the parents at this point, the feeding of the chicklets (? birdlets) is a nonstop activity. The parent sparrows also make no sound unless they're atop a fence, and then they have a very strong, very clear 5-note call. it's amazing how anything as small as a sparrow can have such a loud call.

It is dark now so I have come inside but not before pretending to be a hiker and walking down the neighbor's driveway.

Goodnight everyone, and sweet dreams,
Aunt Maureen
April 5, 2012