For the past week or so I've been watching true nesting behavior in action - a pair of house wrens (thanks, Audubon guide to North American birds) is setting up their house in our bird box. Prior to their moving in I saw a few birds checking it out, chickadees popped in and out a few times and decided it was an unsuitable space. No matter, the wrens thought it was perfect and proceeded to make many trips with twigs, bits of grass and other plant matter.
I had no idea how long it took to build a nest, always assuming it took a day or so. Judging by the number of visits with nesting materials in their beaks I'm now thinking it must take closer to a week to complete. I'd love to be privy to the process going on in the box but wouldn't dare disturb them. Watching from the porch or picnic table will have to do. The wrens chatter at us when we're out there but don't seem to be too disturbed by our presence, thankfully.
Across the yard from the birds, the gardens are marked and ready for planting. The potatoes are already in and growing nicely; over the past weekend I planted onion, carrot, beet and bush bean seeds directly in their places. The strings mark out square feet to designate where each crop will be planted. Eventually I'm hoping to have Joe make me some wooden grids, but for now the strings work perfectly. Last weekend we were able to put up the trellises on the northern ends of the beds, which the vining crops will on.
If all goes according to plan, we'll have a crop of baby birds as well as some nice veggies later on in the season.