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.

8 thoughts on “Building A Home One Mouthful At A Time

  1. Reminds me of my childhood. We always knew where a nest was by the many splodges of bird poo on the path below! I used to love watching the birds fly in and out…

  2. Amazing that the need for protection creates such an instinct. I love bird nests and tried making one. Not so easy. I don’t have that instinct.

  3. I was in Houston, TX for about 3 months while Shayne was on a contract and I volunteered at a wild bird rehab center during the Spring. We had about 100 baby birds to feed and rehab…amazing experience and gave me a whole new appreciation for the work involved for bird parents raising their young…the best little babies were the Mockingbirds. They were the sweetest. The worst were the Grackles. They would overeat and kill themselves if you let them…those little birds have big personalities!

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