Boxes and babies and birds, oh my

Two to three months ago I noticed new tenants moving in. Today I watched as mama spurred her three children to jump off of my 2nd story balcony.

See apparently to a Carolina Wren, the stack of empty boxes out on my balcony is a luxury apartment complex and the bright blue Brita box at the top is the penthouse suite with a view. I knew those boxes would come in handy some day.

The first month or so I never saw the couple. Like many busy young professionals they were so busy working to provide a bed that they didn’t have time to sleep in it. When I did see them is was brief because the moment the suspected me watching them they would take of. I was keeping a tally of the pre-existing nesting materials so I could add it to their rent but they didn’t know that.

The force is strong within them

Then… they disappeared. A long time went by when I just didn’t see them. I would go out on my balcony and peer into the box at the elaborately constructed nest and shake my head at the impetuousness of youth. I thought I had scared my first (ever) tenants away with my freakish voyeurism. I began to use my balcony again but it just wasn’t the same without another life form shrieking at me for invading their territory so I eventually stopped trying.

I left for my vacation with a heavy heart and for a good 3 weeks after I got back I didn’t even bother to take the privacy bar off of the sliding glass door to the balcony. Then one day I heard cheeping. All cheeping stopped the moment I cracked the door and inspection of the Brita box only illustrated some superior nesting skill. In hindsight it actually went something like this.

Me (thinking):
What is that cheeping noise *opening the door. cheeping immediately stops*
Birds (using Jedi mindtrick):
Cheeping? You hear no cheeping. Nothing here but us nesting materials. You should really get away from the computer more your silly human
Yea… maybe my fan was squeaking, I wonder whats on tv.

Experiential learning or parked car to the head

That only happened twice before I figured out what was going on. Turns out all the time I thought the bird couple were gone they were right there in the nest getting busy and doing the egg thing. Also whenever I stepped out on the balcony the mother bird would come screeching back from where ever she was and start jumping back and forth between tree and powerline screeching at me almost as if she were saying “It’s a good thing someone is holding me back or you would be bird food” That kinda gave me a clue.

That was only a few days ago so it was a surprise to see three little furry balls hopping around on my porch squeaking this morning. Mama was all over the place calling and cajoling and encouraging and fussing. As the youngest made his debut test flight from the nest down to the balcony he was so scared he promptly crapped which I thought was hilarious. The little guy’s shame was almost palpable. Mama bird was really cool about though and actually picked up his crap and disposed of it. My estimation of birds in general went up a few notches and I will be eternally grateful even though it probably ended up in my spider plant.

Right now they are all gone, presumably having a maiden voyage even though none of them could actually fly. I’m a bit concerned about them because, well none of them can actually fly and my balcony overlooks a parking lot. Either they will make it or they won’t though. Mama has been back a few times making that scolding call so presumably she knows where they are and maybe I’ll see them again (and recognize them) someday. (Not likely) Even better, they might come back here. I really like being a nosy landlady.