[Tweeters] roostbox success

Christine Southwick clsouth at u.washington.edu
Thu Nov 29 08:47:12 PST 2007

Just wanted to share this success story with tweeters

In Sept I was watering the front porch hanging basket when a startled darkish small bird flew out. This happened several more times before I deduced that the bird slept there, and that I could water during the day without watering the bird. She(?) roosted there regularly and made a round depression in the soil. There were no loose feathers, and even though I spotted her a couple of times at night(after climbing up on the bench), she was so tightly curled in a ball that I couldn't see her head, nor her tail so I couldn't ID her. I figured it was a wren--but which? Bewick's? Winter? I have both. The fluffed up feathers had a light spot in the center of each brown feather (reminded me of the "eyes" in peacock feathers). Couldn't find that in Silbey, nor other books I had.
Fast forward to Nov 17th...The hanging basket had to come down for Christmas decorations. Angst! It was rainy and cold, I couldn't just take it down and leave her to find some other dry safe place--besides, I liked having a porch "Spirit".
What to do? Move the hanging basket? To where?..Finally I took a wood and bark nest box that had been used by a wren before, and left one side open, Then, I put a layer of dog hair in the box for insulation, and I painstakingly extracted the dirt depression and associated plant stems from the hanging basket and carefully transferred it into the nest box. I hung it where the hanging basket had been, and nervously waited to see if she found it acceptable. That night after dark, I peaked, and there she was! Joy! Success! My random act of kindness rewarded!

Last Saturday while putting up Christmas lights, I heard a wren loudly scolding by the back side of the house. It noisly worked its way through the bushes toward the front porch. As it got closte to the porch, it became quiet, jumped into the pine in front of the porch, then darted into the box.

Mystery solved: It was a Bewick's Wren!

I have pictures if anyone is interested.

My question? Are there other birds besides the wrens that will roost in covered locations on the ground?

Christine Southwick
N Seattle/ Shoreline
clsouthwick at comcast.net

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