Things have started to calm down after severe destruction due to weather, but it's just another day in the bird world. Many birds have already completed their first brood, while others have just started building their nests. Many had no choice but to start again because of winds or predators.
It was just over a week ago when we spotted a tiny nest in a small cedar globe. Two tiny blue eggs one day, were little red skinned babies the next. The speed at which they grew was remarkable. Their alarming little "cheep" got my attention, and I suspected something was near the nest. I made my way around the trail to find out the nest was empty. I thought there was no way those little bald babies could have left the nest after hatching just over a week ago. The adult Clay-colored sparrows showed their anger towards me while I walked the trail. It wasn't long before I saw a young bird, unable to fly yet, with short wings and tail feathers. I then understood why this particular bird nests so close to the ground, and with only two little mouths to feed it didn't take long to fatten them up.
With our power being out for a few days, Ziggy's "Salt Springs Spa" was temporarily shut down. He's no primitive bird. He prefers serious pampering, and average pond water just wasn't gonna cut it. After a few days without special treatment, Ziggy quickly appreciated the good things in life and took advantage of his now functioning spa.
There are a few other males that wait in line behind Ziggy, but until the time he completes his legacy, no other males will take advantage of his territory. After fighting off a few trespassers around sunrise, this 6 AM bath was the start of what would be a busy day.
Within a couple hours a female showed up. I always question how Ziggy will know if and when a female arrives. This female sat contently with a little tuft of nesting material at the end of her bill. I had no idea that Ziggy sat on an opposing branch only 6 feet away. Within a blink she lunged across the gap towards him. I heard a snap from some kind of contact, and Ziggy quickly initiated his mating dance. A quick 12 inch side to side clicking motion was the display he tried to impress her with. That display then turned into a 20 foot arcing pendulum swing. Ziggy became a little too obsessed with his own display, that she slipped away while he became a little too self absorbed with his flying abilities . It didn't take long before he was back on patrol watching for intruders or ready to put on another display for other arriving females.
That was just a small portion of one day in the birds' world.
N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. June 18, 2018.
Author of Jewel of the North. Please post your comments and questions.