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nesting birdies + visiting lizard...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

... local wildlife found in my yard. The bird nest is similar to the one I found a couple of years ago. The previously discovered one, I noticed two springs ago, was on the back of the house, literally glued to the siding above a window. When the family hatched and eventually left, I got up on a ladder to remove it, finding the nesting material was attached to the exterior wall with little dabs of clay that held the whole apparatus in place. It was absolutely fascinating to see how the builders had put it together.

The nest you see in the photo is on top of a clear glass globe, part of the outdoor light fixture on the house by the front door. I cannot even begin to imagine what a challenge the nest makers had securing their building materials on to the perfectly rounded, smooth, slick surface of the glass cover for the light. Or begin to surmise why they would choose to locate and raise a family in such a unlikely location. It is certainly sheltered, safe from the elements, but seemingly impossible to attach a 'home' to that would be secure and stable.

I have to marvel at the engineering skills required to secure the nesting material to the slippery surface of the glass globe. It appears to be made out of pine straw, moss and lots of threads that look like spider web. The most amazing part is how it seems to be firmly attached to the smooth surface on which it is carefully balanced. I guess there is a considerable amount of spit used as glue to hold it all together? Making me wonder if the birds are some sort of chimney swift who build nests on brick walls. With tiny little bird brains programmed for choosing vertical walls, with the skills to build a nest that will safely hold fragile eggs and a young family.

The little chameleon is shedding skin. There is always a family of them lurking around the pots and plants near the front door.  I've seen them as short as a toothpick and as long as a full length wooden pencil. Who knows how many generations have enjoyed the safety of planters and crates around our driveway? Multiple skinks and lizards scatter on a regular basis when I go out to water all the things in pots. The little cold blooded reptiles sit in the sun on the warm bricks or rims of the terracotta pots, and dash off in great alarm when the hose is turned in their direction. They do eat a lot of insects, right?

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