Friday, 1 April 2016

Janitorial Duties

This morning's weather was perfect for a walkabout. And my new rubber boots were begging for a ramble. In addition to the much needed exercise, I had another mission. 

Over the years I've installed dozens of bird nesting boxes here. Already the first returning tree swallows are inspecting them as potential brood sites and it's my duty as landlady/janitor to make sure these dwellings are clean enough to pass muster.

Some boxes contained remnants of last year's nests and some contained field mice nests. A box in my backyard even had a red squirrel setting up house.

Not exactly beautiful, but this box seems pleasing to a tree swallow couple.

Some of the boxes have waterfront views.

A red squirrel's nest. She made the woodchips by chewing into the box's walls.

A pair of mallards paddle downstream as I intrude upon their nesting site.

This song sparrow was one of many declaring territorial ownership this morning.

A male goldfinch is slowly changing into his summer wardrobe.

One of several dozen pine siskins that frequent my feeders these days.

A cottontail rabbit inspecting a hollow under a brush pile.


  1. Oh, I love that...the checking of the nesting boxes. Once I surprised a Mother mouse who leaped out and left her babies. After I calmed down, I replaced the roof and left it all hoping she would return. They were all gone later on (probably into my kitchen cupboards!). Isn't spring a great time on much to see and with no leaves yet, easy viewing of the birds. Lovely pictures.

  2. I find it interesting that we share so many critters and birds. I too have Pine Siskins...and once in awhile a gold finch...I even have a bunny. We have swallows soaring overhead most everyday...not sure if they are tree swallows...

  3. Those squirrels have wicked teeth!
    I have to remember to add some chips to the wood duck box. In the snow this afternoon! Hah!

    1. Wicked teeth indeed. I'm was not amused to see that red squirrels chewed and entered my house. The welcome mat does not extend to my living quarters.

  4. A very delightful post. I look forward to our swallows returning,too.

  5. Wow, that's some sharp teeth! You better watch them or they will find other wood to chew! I have never ever seen a pine siskin..thanks for sharing the photo, and the others too are great.


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