handmade Christmas this year and what I made was bird and bat houses out of cedar fence panels I had cherry-picked over the summer.
I had an extra bird house left over after the holidays and it laid around unloved until the middle of June when I decided to just nail it up on the corner post of the garden, not even thinking anyone would use it. The post is only 5 feet off the ground and my garden is a lot busier than, say, the 25 acres of woods it sits next to. I thought it would look nice though and I was proud of it.
About a week later I noticed a stick poking out of the door. I went over and peeked in. I couldn't see much but what it looked like was a mouse nest or something. I figured a mouse had built a nest in it while it was laying around and since I didn't think it would get used, I never checked it before I hung it up.
The next day I went to the side and opened the house to see what was really in it. Out flew a tiny bird!
Inside was a loose 5 inch pile of sticks and on top of that pile was a tiny 3 inch nest of fine grass lined with feathers.
For a couple of weeks I could not even get a good look at the birds who had made my humble box their home.
I began calling the male "Invisibird" because I would hear him making his little call all around the garden fence line but would rarely see him. When I tried to take pictures of him he was so gray and unremarkable that even my camera would not focus on him. It was like he had a super power of some sort.
As the week went on the birds became much less skittish and I witnessed the male bringing in food several times so I assume that the female is setting on eggs. I was finally able to photograph him and identified him as a House Wren. At least I think so, I'm no expert.
A couple of weeks ago, a pair of Violet-green Swallows decided they liked the looks of Invisibird's house. They kept landing on the roof and peering into the door.
Invisibird basically ignored them and went about his business.
I on the other hand was so afraid the Swallows would chase Invisibird away that I ran from the garden and constructed 3 more houses, which only took a little while since the measurements and construction techniques are indelibly etched in my memory, and nailed them up on the other 3 post.
Oddly, Invisibird was very interested in the new house too.
He hopped down the fence, singing and twiddling his wings. The swallows stood on the roof of the new house and growled at him. Invisibird just kept singing and twiddling his wings that weird way and hopped up to look inside. The Swallows were completely mortified by this little birds bad manners and complete lack of respect for their privacy and left in a huff.
Invisibird has won the other house with his odd, optomistic attitude and his twiddly wings. He has built another nest in it, presumably hoping to install a second Mrs. Invisibird in it.
Whew, what a busy guy. He now sings a little less and hunts bugs a lot more.
Later, I saw the Swallows up by the Hay House so I moved the two extra houses up to the old Cherry tree. I think it's a good spot. It has a lovely view.