Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

I'm not a lucky woman who has children that would bring her flowers, a card and take her out for breakfast, or some other meal today.

That's okay. I've survived this long. I'll take the devotion of my loving husband and that's enough.

However I think a pair of nesting flickers (birds) are about to become parents.

About 2 or 3 weeks ago, my husband was watching a flicker pecking away at an old dead tree stump that stands about 12 high. Eventually he made a hole. We watched his continuous work, from sunup to sundown. He was a tired bird at the end of his first day, just hung on with his claws, had his wings spread out, resting. That first day went on into the week while he carved out that hole with his strong beak. We wondered if he'd got himself a lady and was trying to interest her in the mating game.

Yep. Sure enough, the female alighted on a branch above the carved out hole that "Chipper" (my husband's name for him) had made. And they worked on having a family.

My husband felt especially fond of Chipper, and his dedication to such hard exhaustive work. I mean he made that hole large enough for the both of them to go into plus a place for eventual youngsters.

Then, one evening he saw the dark form of a starling sitting inside the hole as though he were going to take over that newly made home Chipper had made for his wife Priscilla.

"Oh no you don't!" My husband ran outside slapped his hand on the trunk of the tree and the starling flew away.

We worried when we didn't see either of the flickers return for, it seemed like days, but maybe it was only one. We, of course had to go to work and couldn't watch it for them.

That night, once more the starling returned and went inside. My husband went out again, certain this was the end of our flicker's home. But when he went out to the trunk, he heard quite a commotion. Suddenly the starling shot out of the hole. The flicker--we think it was the male, but not sure--had taken back what he'd worked so hard for!

This weekend we've watched the male sit at the hole inside. The female hasn't been around and I told Dennis that she may be on the nest. She might have laid her eggs and is trying to hatch them.

Hopefully we will see a nice flicker family being fed continuously by both parents. For those who don't know, flickers eat ants, mainly. So I think they'll be busy gobbling up a pile of ants this summer.


  1. What a sweet story! I hope their little family survives the starling assault!

  2. I knew you'd like that one. (:


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