Monday, June 11, 2007

catbird gone

I've got a bit of sad news this monday morning: the catbird nest is no longer a functioning household.

Sometime Sunday night or Monday morning, a local house cat raided the nest. The evidence is clear: only one egg was even slightly damaged, the nest is a mess on one side and there are no catbirds in sight. If it were a raccoon, the eggs would be gone along with the bird. That cat is soon only going to have 8 lives left. It has a date with a bb gun in it's future.

I'm thinking next year, I'll keep any nesting birds from these areas in my front yard. Last year the cat ate the wren's nest in my japanese fir tree. This year, the catbird has apparently suffered the same fate. Damn predators.

On Greenbury Point, where I do Bluebird and Tree Swallow nests, the birds have suffered the same fate in far too many cases. The Raccoons have destroyed more than a few nests. The House Sparrows have killed tons of Bluebirds and there have been more abandoned nests than I can count on my hands and feet.

I am seeking grant funding to put up some baffles on some boxes to keep the predators away, to put up some new boxes and to even take down a few of the boxes. I am making it a cause of mine to attempt to increase the success rates of these boxes on Greenbury Point. Wish me luck.

Oh, but to leave you on a brighter note, the Chimney Swifts in my West Annapolis neighborhood have fledged. They are flying about, like pros, all over the skies of my community... happily eating all the bugs! When things seem bad, don't worry... just look up. There is always good news to be found.

-Dan

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