A white-winged dove has built a nest in one of our Texas Sage bushes. She was so perfectly camouflaged that I didn't know she was there until she flew away. Ed and I hope it's the same dove that was trying to nest on our clothesline.The birds here are really extraordinary and it has been fun to try to identify them. Some, like Cardinals, are ones I've only seen in books. Others, like Purple Martins, were only seen rarely. In our Austin yard they are everywhere.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Birdbrain or eternal optimist?
One type of bird that is familiar is the Starling. Our neighbor has a covered patio and the Starlings like to nest in every crook and cranny. It is amazing to watch them squeeze into these little holes between the eaves and the corrugated roofing. This one particular Starling keeps building a nest in the downspout of the gutter.
You would think the bird would figure it out. We sit on the deck and watch how industrious he/she is with the nest building. Our Yuccas are favorite plants for materials although today I watched a marigold stem wing it's way next door. It's an ongoing show because the nest keeps getting washed out. Inevitably, just when it seems everything is done we get a shower. The bird climbs out of the gutter and waits it out in a nearby tree. A few weeks later the process begins again. Last year the bird eventually gave up and, I assume, built elsewhere. This year there have been at least four different attempts to nest in the downspout and today marked another failure.
I can't figure out why it persists. Is the lure of a perfectly protected nest too much to resist? Is this a pecking order thing where this bird is denied the prime real estate next to the eave? Or is this bird just playing the percentages? I don't know whether to admire its tenacity or pity it's lack of forethought.
It got me to thinking though. How many times have I been in the exact same situation? Gamely fighting on even though the flood will inevitably wipe me out? Too many times I'm afraid. Perhaps we are all birdbrains with the tiny speck of hope that THIS time it will work out. Oh geez, look at the time! I need to get down to the store and buy my lottery ticket!