The Love Shack

The Love Shack

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Hello everyone! I finally made it out to the last nest box I had to check in Area One. Blame it on my recovery, then getting back into a normal life with work, and then the heat wave we recently endured added to the delay. 40 celcius humidex and working just destroy me. Anyway, here we go...
It was a colorful walk much like this which I saw in another area I traveled yesterday. There were a lot of Blue Jays present on the grounds. White-throated Sparrows were popping up, resting here during their fall migration journey. I have seen this species over winter in Area One some years. Three Red-tailed Hawks had the Jays in a tizzy. A couple Cedar Waxwings flew overhead which I always enjoy seeing. Then I spotted this wild one.
It had a friend and they both watched me from a distance. As I neared the box, I thought to myself how funny it is I am checking it almost 3 months after when the birds would have fledged. The remains in the box hopefully were nothing more than old nesting material, fecal sacks and no bodies (although by this time they wouldn't be much of anything). But for me, it's about completion, finishing the season off as I meant to. I should have taken a photo of the last box as I neared it, but I did not. I could tell something was going on in there by the nesting material sticking out from the sides. As I opened the box, it was as I now expected... a little face was looking out at me in total fear.
He too had a friend (much like the Deer), with him inside the box. I silently apologized for the disturbance, grabbed a nearby stick and removed some of the nest material. One of the mice jumped out of the box and landed on my arm. I let out a giggle with a slight "ARGH!" of sorts. I was not afraid, more like shocked, and had no idea what this mouse was doing. I gave my arm a shake and down into the tall grass he went. I had this Mighty Mouse vision playing in my head; super rodent here wanting to kick my ass for breaking into his house.
I found no signs of any bird remains inside. No feathers, no bones, nothing. I will chalk this last nest up as a success.
I'm going to have to go over my notes later and confirm the numbers I have in my head regarding the Tree Swallows for the 2017 season. There is no denying that it's been a very good year for them here. Lastly, as I got back on the trail, leaving the box, I made this discovery.
I knew it wasn't a mouse and was guessing a Shrew of some sort. A friend of mine confirmed it to be a Short-tailed Shrew. I've never seen a Shrew before and while it's deceased, it's interesting to know these creatures are in Area One along with so many others. Anyway, I will be back soon with my data to share. Cheers!


  1. Loved reading this along with all of your other installments. It felt good to close out the breeding season with this update...sort of like crossing the "t"s and dotting the "i"s. Will look forward to learning your final numbers.

  2. Well, there were definitely some ups and downs during the season but, all in all, I think your work in Area One was a great success, Rob. Thanks for your commitment to the birds (and all of the animals) in the area. You really do make a difference. Thanks for the update!