Building A Home One Mouthful At A Time

Sometimes when feeling overwhelmed by a sizable to do list, I don’t need to go far to be reminded of how much can be accomplished when broken into small steps or as in the case of the House Martins who share close quarters with us for several months of the year, what can be done one mouthful at a time.

The House Martins build nests up under the eaves every year or reuse the ones left behind and the nests are protected by law in the UK while they are being built or if there is active nesting going on. John is always quite pleased to see them and doesn’t seem to mind cleaning a bit of bird poo that falls from the area at times.

They have a tendency to build little bird duplexes side by side or as John would say, a semi, short for semi-detached, a name used here for two houses joined together on one side.

These photos aren’t my best work. It’s difficult to get close and I was too lazy to pull out my Nikon and good lens, but my little Canon G9 did a fair job picking up some decent images. I would love to show you a completed semi from the work above, but House Martins need mud to build these nests and with the beautiful weather we’ve had lately, there’s been little rain to create the necessary materials.

This birdie duplex is over the garage and appears to be occupied only on one side this year. Can you see the little bird peaking out on the left?

Look, there are at least two beaks waiting inside for their supper.

Some people don’t like having what looks like a great clump of mud in the eaves of their house, but I’m amazed and inspired when I consider that it must have taken hundreds of trips back and forth to build this temporary sanctuary and birthing center. It helps my perspective every time.

You can go here to hear what House Martins sound like. There’s an audio link right under the name on the left once you get there. Thanks to my bird-loving husband John for sending this to me.