Interesting Wildlife

Today Adam is competing in the local Odyssey of the Mind competition, and we have just a few hours here at home to relax in between events. And two wonderful and interesting things have happened!

First, when we arrived home, I took out the jar with the unidentified eggs in it - the ones I think are spider eggs - to show my folks. When we looked at it, we noticed it was moving. (This is on a very tiny level - I mean you can barely see this happening - but the more we looked, the more we were convinced things were moving.) We realized that we needed greater seeing power, so I rummaged in Kate's room for her microscope. I took it outside and we spread apart the egg sac on a slide, and sure enough, they are hatching!

Dad, taking a look

Now, since we saw them through the microscope, of course I couldn't take a photo. They are translucent white with black threads running through their legs. There are millions and millions of them. I must confess that even though I thought the whole thing was cool, it also gave me the serious heebie jeebies. I put the egg sac into a larger, clearer jar, and I'm hoping by tomorrow I'll have better evidence to show you.

Then, while I was putting Kate's microscope away, I noticed activity outside her bedroom window, on our front porch. I have recently rearranged things out there, and on a whim, I put a decorative birdhouse on the porch railing, just 'cause it's cute. I never dreamed any bird would actually get interested in it. I've had it 10 years and no matter where I've put it, no bird has ever been interested. But guess what? Two tiny birds were taking turns putting sticks in the house, building a nest together! I did some research and they are Bewick's Wrens, a bird I've never seen in our yard before, even though they are apparently quite common. My pictures are crappy (the link above gives a much nicer one) because whenever I tried to get close, they stayed away.

I got this shot before he got hip to me, but I couldn't get any closer

Through Kate's screened window, but at least you can see him holding a stick!
I could not be more thrilled and hope to have lots of photos for you in the future of these cute little guys. Poppy Corners was just recently certified as a Bird-Friendly Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. We are pleased to have this, along with our 2007 certification as a Wildlife Habitat.

I've actually been reading up on building more nest boxes, as we only have one other that Adam made with Dad years ago, and it gets a lot of action.

It's behind a large Ribes (flowering currant), which is why I think birds like it
We also have a nesting perch that Dad built when we starting getting lots of Mourning Doves in our yard. They don't like boxes, just these sorts of things:

But so far, nothing has built a nest on it, not even a Scrub Jay, who tend to like these sort of things too.

So I'll let you know what I find out about building nest boxes. Meanwhile, back to Odyssey of the Mind...