nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘nest building

robin in the rafters and in rain

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If you are a bird, this is the time of year for nest building! An American robin has built a nest in the support beams of our deck. Years ago we had fun watching a robin build a nest and raise a brood in the rafters of our cabin.

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This year’s nest builder thinks the deck is his alone. Going in and out by way of the deck gets us a scolding. The robin puffs out its chest and tries to lure the marauders away. I am afraid to go near to get a photo since I might disturb eggs or chicks, so a photo of a robin’s nest in winter will have to do!

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Sudden Storm

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dusk

half darkness

the moon rises

a sliver from full

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spaces yawn

liquid robin song

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aspen, motionless

poplar tremble

a nuthatch rustles in the leaves

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wind chime plays a scale

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cloud stretched across the moon

a hand pressed to the treetops

leaves turn to the silver underside

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warm splashes

polka-dot the patio

puny dust storms on the step

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streamers stripe the glass

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curtains of rain

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017  

Written by jane tims

June 5, 2017 at 7:00 am

songs in the grey woods – northern parula

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A friend, a knowledgeable wetland biologist, has been helping me learn some new bird songs. Last week, I identified the song of the Northern Parula. This is a bird I have never seen, though I scan those tree tops with the binoculars until my arms ache. I have heard its song so many times and always wondered what it was. The song is a long whirrrrr, flowed by a short, upward flipWhirrrr -flip. Whirrrr- flip. This morning it was the first song of the morning bird chorus!

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May 20, 2016 'Northern Parula' Jane Tims

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It drives me crazy to hear him sing, be able to find the tree he is perched in, but not see him. My painting is how I think he must look, based on descriptions on the net.

The Parula is a blue-grey bird with a yellow throat, and a yellow and white breast. He has a white crescent above and below his eye and two white wing bars. A bright and beautiful bird! He has an association with a lichen I love, Usnea subfloridana, Old Man’s Beard. He uses the lichen to build his hanging nest.

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Usnea subfloridana on the snow

Usnea subfloridana on the snow – usually found hanging in our maple, spruce and fir trees

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

May 27, 2016 at 7:00 am

nest of the Eastern Phoebe

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This time of year, I hear a wheezy call in our maple tree.  The Eastern Phoebe has arrived, to build a nest under the eaves of our shed.

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The Phoebe makes an appearance in the book I am writing – ‘Crossing at a Walk’.  I have just reached Draft #5 of the writing, a time when I edit for adverbs, sentence length, repeated phrases and so on.  I also work to clarify the plot and the story, making certain my characters are true to their missions in the book.  At this stage, the editing is a bit of a blur.

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Here is an excerpt from the book.  The Eastern Phoebe has come to check out the Whisper Wind Writers’ Retreat (the setting for my story). Tom will encounter three Phoebe’s in the book: the shrill ‘fee-bee’ song of the Chickadee in spring, the Eastern Phoebe with its nasal ‘phee-bee’, and the name ‘Phoebe’ carved in the covered bridge …

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 I am in our garage, cutting leaves from a sheet of copper for a new wind sculpture. I glimpse a quick flutter outside the window and hear knocking in the eaves.

I put the tin snips down on the workbench and step outside to investigate. At one corner of the garage, up under the edges of the roof, is the nest of a bird, constructed within the last few days.

As I lean to get a better look, the mighty construction worker flies out and swoops up to the height of one of our birch trees.  It tilts its black head and says, in two raspy, out-of-tune syllables, ‘phee-bee’.  The sound is nasal and cheerless, quite different from the bright ‘fee-bee’ of the chickadee in spring. 

An Eastern Phoebe! A charming grey bird with a puffed black hairdo and a dirty white throat. The phoebe sits in the tree and wags his tail. He says, again, ‘phee-bee.’

Every morning in June he wakes me.

‘What on earth is that annoying bird song?’ says sleepy Sadie.

‘You could hardly call it a song,’ I answer.

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For more about the three Phoebes, see my post for May 4, 2015 ‘spring orchestra – fee-bee’.

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DSCF9482_crop

the nest of the Eastern Phoebe – notice this Phoebe has found a few strands of tinsel from our Christmas tree to decorate his home!

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Copyright 2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 27, 2015 at 7:43 am

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