Wingnut
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House wrens have nested in our yard for several years. The constant courtship singing that marks seasonal return finally was heard here on June 2. We were waiting and waiting for the bird, fearful that perhaps we would have no wrens this year. Not so. The bird returned on a usual schedule, late May/early June. It just seemed to us that he was behind schedule. One brood of chickadees nesting here had fledged before the wren arrived. Chickadees have no migration schedule, however.

That male is now moving from point to point in our backyard, with song pointing to each of four nest boxes available. Wrens — this one or another — have used three of those in past seasons. We have seen the bird carry sticks (twigs really) into one of the boxes. The male will start at least one nest, perhaps as many as three, giving his would-be mate a choice. He will then complete that nest.

We had a Baltimore oriole singing its courtship song here for about three weeks. He too was a constant presence. The song is gone now, hopefully because he found a mate. If a nest is to be built I wish I knew where. We have suitable trees, from a non-oriole point of view. I watched an oriole build its nest two weeks ago. Having that opportunity was special. It took the female two days to complete her hanging pouch. She probably is incubating eggs right now.

There also has been a great crested flycatcher singing for a mate here, singing a polite term for the song this bird offers. It says “creeeep,” pitch rising at the end. The bird has been seen several times in the entry to one of our wood duck boxes. The flycatcher is a cavity nester, but the duck box seems like overkill. Whatever choice he makes is ok with us. We simply like nesters to choose our yard.

The back half of our yard is a pond bleeding into a wooded swamp. Red-winged blackbirds are nesting there, as usual, probably cardinals, too. But the catbirds, common yellowthroats, yellow warblers, and swamp sparrows that have routinely used the swamp and its woody edges have yet to be heard. It makes us wonder why.

The great crested flycatcher house hunting.

A red-bellied woodpecker also has taken a couple of looks at the duck box.