Sunday, June 10, 2007

House guests

My wife and daughters have a hobby of painting decorative bird houses, which I’ve hung outside around the deck of our house. This year, a pair of tenants have decided to raise a family in one of the houses. This is a mama house wren looking out of her rental home – at least that’s the best identification we’ve been able to make, based on the birds’ appearance and warbling song, as well as their nesting habits.

We think they’re currently in the midst of raising a brood, since they both regularly leave the house and return with an insect in their beak, which is taken inside the home, whereupon the parent quickly leaves on another hunting expedition. Occasionally the mother stays in the house with her young while father forages. When he returns, he passes the insect to the mother’s beak, who then feeds a baby bird.

It’s good that some creatures have decided to bring forth a new generation near my home. The big 17-year cicada Brood XIII emergence has certainly been a dud in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. Other areas are thick with them, but I’m guessing that the heavy development out this way over the last two decades have pretty much destroyed the brood in this area, if indeed there ever were any out this way.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Photographs © 2007 James Jordan.


rebelBodhi said...

Hi James,
If you remember me I asked you for some advice on a technique you called 'vignetting' a week or so ago.
Well, I tried my hand at it on a photo I took in the Louvre in Paris last year--I'm curious what you think.

Nothing on the level of your work but I think it came out quite well for a first try :) (It's the one of the female statue)

Have a great day and keep up the good work! Bobby

Cedarwaxwing said...

I agree that you have a house wren. Lovely house for the wren - your wife and daughter are talented.

As for the cicadas - I was afraid there would be none here. I lived in the area 34 years ago and do not recall any more cicadas than the normal dog-days of summer kind.