Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Real estate

Location isn't always the most important factor in real estate, apparently. We have been watching last year's bush tit nest ever since we discovered it when all the leaves fell. It was a cozy-looking moss 'sock' hanging high in our neighbor's rugosa. I can easily watch it as I work at the computer. At least, I can until the leaves grow and hide the nest again. It's a very secure location.

When the snow left, the rains lessened and the winter winds died down, I could see it had suffered some structural damage. Pairs of bush tits began to stop by and assess the nest for its potential as a home. First, they had to get inside which wasn't all that easy. When all you have is a little beak, punching a hole in matted moss and bird spit and resin is pretty difficult. But they persevered and one day a hole appeared. Unfortunately, it gaped widely after the next rainfall.

A finch came exploring and tore at the nest with his beak. His bigger beak and larger size enabled him to fly off with a huge bunch of material. He tried again, later in the day, but a pair of bush tits drove him away. A-ha! I thought: Here's the new owners. But, sadly, this pair gave up, too. As has every pair over the past couple of weeks. As the nest becomes more and more dilapidated, the bush tits have used it as a demolition site; salvaging the building materials and flying off with them to new locations.

So, today, the mossy tube droops forlornly high up in the rose bush. The entry hole has been enlarged to the bottom where there is a new opening. Bush tits still come to this shrub and they still look at the nest. Must be some good bugs on the branches. Or, maybe this is a tourist destination now. On the bush tit 'wonders of the world' circuit. Do ya think?

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