Thursday, May 29, 2008


I discover something new and interesting each day on the Twelve Acres. I was looking at this red anenome today and wondered why they're called that. They don't look anything like the anenomes in the sea! Upon closer examination, however, I discovered that indeed they do. These anenomes were a freebie I got with one of my orders this winter. I hope there is a nice variety of colors in store for me.

It was a perfect day for a walk in the fence row. I wanted to check on the progress of my wildlife garden and just enjoy the trees with their fresh leaves growing. While I was out there I discovered what looked like a crime scene beneath one of the four nest boxes we installed this winter. I found cream colored egg shell the size of a small chicken egg. Wood duck perhaps? And what's with the nest material on the ground? Did a predator raid the nest in the night and eat the eggs?

I looked up at the nest box and saw what looked like dried blood on front. What happened here?

Less than 15 feet away was this large patch of downy feathers. It looked like the typical scene when a raccoon or hawk tears into a bird. There are feathers with tan bars in this mix. Raptor feathers? I have several Red-Tail Hawk feathers on my desk that are the same shade of brown. I could find no carcass anywhere near the nest box, so I assume the predator carried it off or ate the whole thing.

If you think you know what invaded the nest, please leave a comment. I wish I could have seen what was/is nesting in this box. It certainly laid a large enough egg to be a duck of some kind. The entrance hole to the nest box is 3" in diameter.

When I was hanging laundry yesterday, I looked down to discover this tiny nest on the ground beneath a spruce tree. It's made of very fine fibers and lined with what appears to be white cat hair. It might be too large for a hummingbird. What could it have belonged to? Let's hope it builds another nest to replace it.

Speaking of hummingbird nests, I'm convinced that there is a nest located in the Norway Maple out front. I see a female zip in and out of the tree to drink at the feeders. If any other hummingbirds try to feed, she chases them off with a sassy tongue lashing! I watched her cuss out a Robin this afternoon after it landed in "her" tree! Those little hummers sure do have their fair share of gumption!


  1. Yes they do! That bird nest is too large to be a hummer's. I've seen several since moving here and I am amazed at how tiny they are. Hummingbird nests are usually lashed beteween the Y of a twig and composed of spun spider's web and moss! The one's I've seen are so tiny and so not nest-like that you would harldy notice them if you didn't see the bird fly into it. I have no clue about your predator but I am sorry about the egg.

  2. Thank you Kathie, that helps a lot. I am going to try real hard to find the hummingbird nest in our maple tree. I just have to catch mama hummer landing on it. It would be such a thrill to watch her raise some babies this year!

  3. I had my hubby (nature guy) look at your photos and he thought it was probably a raccoon and he thought the nest may be that of a sparrow???
    Have a nice week ~Kim

  4. Kim, please tell your "nature guy" thank you from me. I have a feeling he's right about the raccoon.

  5. I'd agree with nature guy that it was a raccoon. It's highly unlikely that a raptor would have pulled the nesting material out. I recently lost some Chicadee eggs and the crime scene looked VERY similar. The nest looks the right size and shape to be a chipping sparrow....


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