Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young …. Only in this case, we are dealing with wrens – much cuter than a sparrow, and almost as cute as a swallow.
I was thrilled when a wren family moved back into the gourd on my back porch. I can sit at my kitchen table, reflecting on what hard workers and good providers they are, watching them bring dainty tidbits to their children, and thinking that my children now bring dainty tidbits to me! And they (the wrens, not my children) have been remarkably tidy - tidy for birds, at any rate. My experience tells me that birds are not known for their personal hygiene or for compulsively cleaning the areas around their homes. Au contraire! But this little couple has barely made bird messes at all.
Imagine my shock when I got up one recent morning, looking at my nice little al fresco tea table on the porch, to find it covered with twigs and a few leaves. How could this be, I pondered. The porch is locked. No one could come in here without breaking the lock on the gate. The next morning, the answer was clear. There are three gourds on my porch, all made by my sister-in-law, Angela. To begin with, I had only the biggest one on the porch, but then when I redecorated my little outdoor breakfast area, I put up the other two, which had been inside. I peeked into the doors of the smaller, newer ones, and what a shock! More nests. Either my little wren family was building outhouses and gazebos, or their friends and relations were finding out what a good thing this pair had, and are creating a family compound.
Ancient wisdom tells us that “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush,” but I beg to differ with this. A bird in the bush is a thing to be cherished and admired – God’s lovely little creature, sparkling and spritely. A bird in hand is disgusting! Have you ever had to hold one? Ick!
I have a nice birdhouse in my garden. Do you think a bird would move into that? Never!