We have Bewick’s Wrens in our bird house this spring! Mom and dad are ferrying bugs to peeping chicks that will fledge in about a week. This is the second nest of native birds who have rented a house from us since we ditched the bird house that the sparrows (old-world invaders!) liked and replaced it with a house with a smaller entryway that sparrows can’t fit through. They tried, though. Before the slender wrens staked their claim, the fat sparrows wanted in. They’d stick their heads through the hole and wriggle and shove and flail their legs to get their bodies through. It was hilarious. They looked like Winnie the Pooh stuck in Rabbit’s front door.
Last summer we kissed our St. Augustine farewell because it wasn’t faring well. It was not possible to simultaneously water it sufficiently and obey the city’s water restrictions. This year our backyard is returning to a natural state, and we have more bugs and butterflies, more chattering squirrels, and more kinds of birds (and fewer non-native starlings and sparrows) than we had when our sprinkler-fed monoculture throve. We’ve also taken the cap off our brick chimney so that swifts will nest in it in summer—and they do!
Check out our trial database, Birds of North America.