Barn swallows built a nest two years ago on top of a wooden black bat, as in the mammal on our patio. We’ve left the nest alone. The nest has always remained just a swallow nest – until the last few days.
Down feathers and other items kept appearing along the edges of this nest, as well as on the patio. It was not until December 5th that we saw small tail feathers sticking out of the nest.
I climbed up on a stepladder and snapped a few photos to ID this mystery bird. It was sound asleep with its head tucked back into its body. Nothing was disturbing its slumber – not even the clicking of my camera or the flash.
From the photos – all I saw was the rounded body with white spots along with the tail feathers. It was breathing heavily as it slept. It’s probably been sleeping there the last few nights with the door, the lights nor even our Shepherd, Azrael bothering it.
It took little to no time to ID this babe based on its white spots. Carolina Wren! Serious surprise because we live on the western outer edge of its yearlong range. It does have an irregular range during some winters and can be seen in New Mexico and Colorado.
The white spots appear when the wren is fluffed up covering their actual feathers. They fluff to keep warm, as well as possibly use them as camouflage.
It flew back into the nest last night. After it snuggled down for its slumber I captured more photos of it. It’s amazing that this little bird after it falls asleep could care less about the clicking or flash of a camera. If I listened close enough I actually could hear and see it breathing. I know some people will argue with me on that. Unlike the builders of the nest who you could not get close to at all – this wren has no care in the world after it falls asleep.
The conservation lesson to take away from this little visitor – don’t knock down barn swallow nests. Leave them be – please! The nests have the potential to provide a resting, safe haven for other migratory or nonmigratory birds like this Carolina Wren.
This little Carolina Wren has no worries. It will have a safe haven as longs it needs to have.
Photographs – © Christena Stephens