Marshmission is making an enthusiastic “birdwatcher” out of this M.U.T.T.! I have never seen so many birds and in such a variety. The other day while sniffing around in some tall marsh grass, I ran into a gorgeous indigo bunting. His brilliant blue feathers really “knocked me out,” and I lost the scent of a rabbit that I was stalking!
Springtime is the season for mother birds, nests, and babies! CC, Sue, and I were anchored recently on an unnamed canal in a marsh of Vermilion Parish. The tall maiden cane grasses stood as far as the eye could see. Shrubs of many types lined the canal edges, and as we explored the canal, we quickly noticed a community of different birds building or sitting on nests. They were well-built, and each bird species had its own design technique. I cannot help but wonder who taught them which twigs or grasses to use and how to shape them. I was also extremely impressed with the weaving ability of some of these feathered friends.
All of this made me think of one of my favorite TV shows when I was a pup, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The altered theme song on my mind was, “Oh, Who Are the Birdies in Your Neighborhood!” I named it “Bird Nest Canal” for we saw 27 nests along 500 yards of this small stream! Of them, one belonged to yellow warblers, one to redstarts, two to short-billed marsh wrens, six to red-winged blackbirds, six to green-backed herons, and ten to grackles. Most nests had eggs, and one had three hungry baby grackles; a few were under construction.
I began to worry soon because after our discovering and photographing many of the nests, a big storm came up. Wind, rain, lightning, and thunder rocked us to sleep that night. Meanwhile, I wondered how the baby grackles had fared. Obviously the mother grackle weathered the storm alright and protected her young since we found them all well in the morning!
Cup-shaped woven nests, flat stick nests, and grass nests were all built to the special specifications of a particular species. Sue labeled one bush the “Crafty Condominium” since over six unique nests were on various levels of the shrub! I am so awestruck with the strength and originality of these nifty nests and their skilled architects! Birds are incredible!