Monday 10 April 2017

Tufted Titmouse

I should preface this by saying that I don’t particularly like birds. I suppose birds are like people in that some are nice, some are less than nice, some are gregarious and some just like to be left alone. They may love their families but the whole pushing the young out of the nest to teach it to fly seems to point the other way. I had a friend that did more or less the same thing when his kids over stayed their welcome. Granted he didn’t live in a tree so tossing the kids out at ground level wasn’t as traumatic. It was still cold though.

Now, having established that I don’t like birds, maybe trust would be a better term, for some inexplicable reason I like to have bird houses around the place. I don’t like/trust them, but no one should have to spend cold Alberta nights sitting balanced on a tree branch. I have seven last year and have added another three into the mix this year. Making a bird house isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. It turns out that those little feathered dinosaurs are picky when it comes to their homes.

The inner dimensions can’t be too large or too small. I understand the too small; we had one bathroom with two adults and three teenagers for far too long. The too large doesn’t make sense unless the worry is that some other socialist bird family will move into the same space believing that sharing is their right. There must also be adequate ventilation or it will get too hot inside. I made a bird house with a metal roof and I think the birds used it to punish avian wrong doers, sort of like being interred in a German POW camp.
 Image result for barn owl
The door size is also important and determines which species of bird you will attract. If you want to attract a barn owl you need a whole 6 inches around. Who the hell would want a barn owl on their fence? It would be like cleaning up after a small dog. Last year the houses I made had entrance holes 1 ½ inches in diameter, for those of you that use metric that would be “look it up yourself!”. The inch and a half might be a little large because the magpies would perch on a nearby branch and eat the young chicks right out of the birdhouse. Turns out I was making bird feeders, not bird houses.
 Image result for magpie

This year I went a quarter inch smaller which should attract magpies with longer beaks. The lady magpies love the guys with longer beaks. I just looked it up and these new houses should attract downy woodpeckers, house wrens, white breasted nuthatches and the tufted titmouse. I’m hoping for the tufted titmouse of course. Actually, I am not even sure that any of those birds live in Alberta and to tell the truth I don’t care. I just like the look of them.
Image result for tufted titmouse

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