Sunday, April 26, 2009

House hunting

The house wrens are back, which is always a sign that Spring has really arrived. They returned yesterday (along with the hummingbirds, who have arrived May 1st for the past four years). The air is filled with their joyous, hopeful, warble-y song. They are house hunting this morning. They seem to love the neighborhood, have summered here every year, and the pair are always welcomed back with a new house or two (or three) from which to choose. There are a large variety of homes to look at. At the moment , a very conventional, older, some what beat-up house has captured their interest. Mama Wren inspects inside, pulling out any remnants of former tenants and seems to be very fussy about it. Papa Wren, who pointed out the house to her originally, sits on a nearby perch and sings his heart out, his wings frantically buzzing like a bee's, awaiting her approval. He wants this process to be over-with so he can really get down to the business of making babies, which, as with all males, is his primary interest. Mama will not be rushed however. Although the older home under the trumpet vine arbor seems attractive to her despite it's shabbiness, there are many others to look at before the final choice is made. This is an important decision and she will not hurry in spite of Papa's impatient urging. There is the new house hanging on the corner of the eave, but perhaps it would be a bit unsettling to fly in and out of a cat's mouth.....their former home was quite modern and roomy, but does not seem to be getting her attention at the moment. There is the old apartment building which has been taken over by a pair of chickadees who are bound and determined to defend it, ready to pull out every twig that the wrens push through the tiny front door. The wood spirit house is an appealing prospect and has been thoroughly inspected. Back and forth they fly, first to one then to another, and the drama goes on. It is fun to watch and wager on which house they will finally make their home. It is impossible to know which quality will form the final choice, location, orientation to prevailing wind, sun, shade, or proximity to food.They could choose from a number of houses hanging under the eaves, nestled in the blue spruce, mounted on a wall, or they could throw a curve and choose the clothes pin bag, or an old boot left out too long. All of them have been used in the past. Or maybe they will find a totally new and unexpected spot. We will wait and see. Meanwhile the happy wren-song will surround my house, making it feel homier than ever.

1 comment:

janet said...

This is beautifully written and illustrated with such a pretty picture collection! I had to chuckle at the domestic lives of the little wren couple. I hope they've found just the right one.