HARLINGEN, Texas – It is peak nesting season for the birds of South Texas. Richard Moore shows us you might be surprised at what you find in your own backyard.
Sometimes, you don’t have to venture any farther than your own backyard to discover fascinating wildlife.
There is a bustling construction project underway in my backyard, as a pair of Carolina wrens is busily building their nest in a weathered birdhouse.
The male and female work together bringing small sticks and leaves into their new abode, and throughout the morning they deliver material at a hectic pace.
Every spring the energetic little wrens nest somewhere in the yard. Last year they chose a hanging potted planter of pentas. The colorful flowers provided a lovely home site and offered protective cover, as you could barely discern their comings and goings.
The year before they opted for the grinning countenance of a large ceramic sun secured on a wall in the backyard patio.
The irrepressible songsters are notorious for selecting unusual cavities in which to raise their young. Once they nested in a pair of shorts hanging on the clothesline, and another time my mail service was temporarily re-routed when they appropriated the mailbox.
Once the current construction project is completed, the female will lay her eggs and incubate for a couple of weeks.
When they hatch, it only takes the usual four to six youngsters 12 to 14 days to fledge, but those will be incredibly busy days for the parents.
I once tried to estimate the number of insects delivered daily, and the peripatetic wrens brought on the average a bug every five minutes from practically dawn to dusk. That comes out to roughly 12 per hour times a 12-hour day…which is at least 144 bugs per day.
You couldn’t have a better pest control team on duty than a duo of Carolina wrens. Just hope there are enough bugs to go around when the feeding begins.