The Swallows on the front porch

The Barn Swallows built a nest on the front porch this year. They built their nest out of mud and lined it with some some soft material. It was not built on a ledge, rather, it came straight out from the stucco – an amazing feat of engineering. I put a potty box underneath to catch all the dropping. The birds seemed very upset for a few days and I noticed that one of the babies had died. Buzz removed it from the nest. They seem fine now and almost ready to fly.

3 baby swallows in nest

3 baby swallows in nest

Momma Swallow checks on babies

Momma Swallow checks on babies

Baby Swallow in nest

Baby Swallow ready to fly the coop

Oliver, the Owl

As dusk was approaching, I walked by the window and looked out and took a double take. Right outside my living room, was a magnificent Barred Owl in our small black cherry tree.

Barred Owl

Evidently, the Barred Owl does not mind the cold because Minnesota winters can be extreme. Today was rather nice out though, a balmy 25 degrees, and I’m sure the owl decided to go for little spin of the neighborhood in pursuit of his evening meal. As the owl sat rotating his head round and round – looking for something to eat, I began to fear that Trixie, the mouse, might be on the dinner menu. Fortunately, I did not witness the demise of Trixie or any of our other small critters running around the yard – at least today.

The next evening, Oliver came back to the exact same spot, patiently sitting for over an hour in the small Black Cherry tree. Finally, he hunched over, stared down at the ground and made his move. He carried away what appeared to be a vole. Once settled in a new tree, he swallowed his evening meal whole and just sat there for what seemed like an eternity. Later, as I walked by the window again – I looked out to see Oliver sitting back in the cherry tree.

I like to keep my windows open in the summer and have often heard the owls calling out to each other, hoo-hoo-to-hoo, usually around 3 in the morning or so. It is an amazing sound. They must live close by but where, I do not know. They are truly a sight ot behold.

The Bird Sanctuary

After we moved in, we started putting up bird feeders and bird houses. Aside from the fact that we have every squirrel in Lakeville feeding at out house (sure they like to eat and run), there are a few other interesting animals that swing by on a regular basis. Plato, the Pileated woodpecker, comes by often. He really likes the suet feeder. At times we have seen 4 pileated woodpeckers together. Plato is the leader. I feel honored that he makes this one of his regular stops. What a majestic bird.

Pileated Woodpecker