Hidden treasure

Who knew?  Well, I guess lots of people would know but it was a wonderful discovery for me.  Here’s the story:

James was washing his truck.  I was helping and Monte, our border collie was out and about, sniffing at the bank along the side of the garage.  All of a sudden we heard alarmed birds and saw a little one hopping through the grass and across the driveway.  Monte had found a little nest in the grass, softly lined, with an egg and a baby bird inside.  Since the chick hopping around was quite large, I’m guessing it was a cowbird being raised by a pair of Juncos while their little Junco egg went unhatched.

We corralled the chick and put it back in the nest.  That didn’t really calm the frantic parents who were swooping at us and chiding us with fierce scolding.  (Only when we were done and came inside did they stop their defense.)  The little chick didn’t stay in the nest long and it seemed like the parents were encouraging it to move to a safer place.  We also encountered a pair of house wrens that were exhibiting anxious behavior at the same time.  Perhaps we were close to their abode as well but we never saw it.

I didn’t know Juncos nested on the ground.  They are ground feeders, so I guess it makes sense that they’d nest there too.  How fun to find their secret place.

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