In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bird Sanctuary

I live in an area that can only be described as a bird sanctuary. The variety is almost astounding and the opportunities to watch birds only means stepping off the front porch.

In some earlier posts, I described some observations of a family of robins. Since that time, I've seen them, although their territory seems to have expanded.

I've been working on a large concrete dock, so I've been watching what are locally known as "Chimney Swifts", although I don't know if they're that, or some type of swallow. What's interesting is the nest they build. The picture below is a good representation of their nests.

This doesn't look like the bird, but the nest is identical.The birds - whatever they are - spend a substantial part of the day flying to a muddy bank a few hundred feet from the dock, grabbing a beak full of mud, then flying back to paste it to their nest. When not involved with this activity, they fly around and eat the swarming mosquitos, or "bathe" in the dust on a road, which I assume gets rid of parasites.

Yesterday, a crow visited the site. My guess is that the crow was looking for an easy meal of eggs, but its hopes were shattered when it was swarmed by the swifts and chased away. Although it tried more than once, all efforts were futile and it was forced to find a meal somewhere else.

The nests take up a substantial part of the overhangs on the dock and are placed precariously over the water, which has plenty of predatory fish to consume anything that falls in the water. Even without any predators, the birds are not equipped to swim; a fall would probably end with the bird drowning.

So, now you know substantially more about something that doesn't catch your interest.

You're welcome.

I was well into this post, when I realized I was like my father. He was fascinated by birds; he even put a bird bath in his back yard, so they'd have water and he could watch them. 

With me, it calms my mind to watch birds. Maybe it's a longing to escape - even for a moment - and be free of the confines of the ground.


  1. There's a concrete bridge we take our boat under that's filled with those nests, but predominantly on the western side.
    We've been mistakenly referring to them as mud-daubers it seems. Just discovered those are wasps.

  2. That's what I found on the internet, but I couldn't find a good photo for reference. I need to take a photo and post it for an expert to examine.

  3. Chimney swallows actually live in chimneys...Swallows are usually named for where they live. In Indiana, our enclosed back yard was a bird's sanctuary as well as any wildlife that could make it under the fence. Our joy in life was feeding anything that entered and we never, ever, had 'misconduct' between our diners. I assume it's because they always had full tummies.

  4. I couldn't get a photo today, but from the photos on the net, Ed is 100% correct.