It’s better than TV. A small finch-like creature has honored my little home in Las Tablas for the past several breeding seasons by putting her nest in the corner of one of my living room windows. These windows are the jalousie slats typical of so many Central American homes. They are both barred and screened, to my great delight. The bars mean I can leave the windows open to catch any possible breeze and needn’t make the house stuffy if I go out, and the screens mean significantly fewer bugs inside, which in turn means a reduction in the indoor gecko herd and their uninhibited little deposits. The bars are on the outside and the screens are on the inside, which makes it perfect for my little bird friends.
The bird nest is conveniently located for perfect viewing from my desk. In the early morning, I can watch from the kitchen, too. The sun provides an animated shadow show through the curtain as she and Mr. Bird bustle about. They have gathered bits of grass and twigs, along with some pieces of thread that drifted into the yard from various sewing projects on the porch, and woven a small, half-covered cup tucked into the corner of the highest slat, up against the screen. There, I watch them tidy and repair the nest in preparation for her coming silent vigil of careful wings and feathery love while she waits for her wee miracles to hatch. At last the babies appear, animated hairy pencil erasers with giant jaws. There seem to be three each nesting season.
Then she and Mister Bird begin a marathon of taking turns pushing what i assume to be delicious bugs and worms down the new, tiny but voracious, gullets. The amount of work involved exhausts me to even think about.
Mr. and Mrs. Bird have gotten quite used to having me and the two dogs right next to the window. She hardly pays any attention to any of us any more, even when a visitor sets off the howl alarms. But she does still get nervous when I point the camera at her or her precious babies. I find that strange, considering, but perhaps her caution is because hauling out the camera is a change in my usual behavior with her.
But what a treat to have this intimate “family programming” twice a year!