Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Mother's Work is Never Done


Currently we have seven nestboxes placed on our country property. One is being used by a beautiful Eastern Bluebird couple. They have already raised one successful brood and are in the process of feeding their second crew. Two other nestboxes are occupied by House Wrens. One day, while tending to the fruit trees in the orchard, I noticed a very loquacious wren constantly bringing insects to the nestlings in one of the bird houses. She did not seem to mind my presence so I gathered up my camera and tripod to capture a few photographs of the goings-on at the wren house. My, what a busy parent she is! I observed her tending to the nestlings for about 45 minutes. Fascinated by her parenting skills, I returned the next day and snapped away for another 45 minutes. All the photographs were taken in the middle of the day where harsh sunlight does not make for great images, but I hope you find the series interesting.


Crickets must be plentiful and quite tasty, as I watched the House Wren feed lots of these insects to the nestlings


A Crane fly became the unfortunate prey for one fortunate wren nestling


Disposing of the fecal sac is one of the House Wrens many duties. A fecal sac is a mucous membrane that surrounds the feces of some nesting birds. Having it contained in a sac allows for easier waste removal from the nest.


I observed the wren bring back more spiders to the nest than any other insect


The little wren found lots of Daddy-long-legs to feed to her babies


The adult wren would most often fly to the top of the roof and scan the surrounding area before entering the house with the prey


A real treat, two insects at once!


Another Daddy-long-legs makes for a nutritious meal


I marvel at the variety of insects brought to the tiny, begging nestlings


All that food makes for lots of waste. The parent wren has more poop to dispose of.


Younger nestlings get fed soft-bodied bugs and caterpillars. When they grow larger, hard-shelled insects such as grasshoppers are served.


A leggy snack for one of the hungry nestlings


A mother's work is never done


79 comments:

Steve Creek said...

Awesome captures Julie!

Kerri said...

LOVE this Julie! Great series - and so true (in human's too :)

Peaches Ledwidge said...

More people should see your photographs.

Isidro Ortiz said...

Fantasticas fotos de esta especie de Troglodyte.Saludos

Lorents H Blomseth said...

Hey Julie !
You have got beautiful captures of a hard working mom, and may be a dad too ? Good sharpness and colour balance as usual from you. Have a nice photowee "over there"
Lorents H

Joop Zand said...

Fabulous shots Jullie..... very nice sharpness, colors and light....my compliments.

Greetings, Joop

Frank said...

Hi Julie. A fabulous series and superbly captured documenting the Wren's feeding activities.

TexWisGirl said...

these are so great! love wrens and their perky ways, but you captured their energy and drive so well here!

Judy Royal Glenn said...

You were just as busy as the mom capturing great photos:)

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Great pictures. The Wrens are such little characters. I am awakened by their persistent singing almost every morning.

Marco Alpha said...

Hello Julie,
It's great to see these hard working birds, to get feed for their young ones. Nice how you've captured the birds with their prey on the little birdhouse. Nice images!!

Hugs, Marco

Mia McPherson said...

Wonderful and fascinating images Julie!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Julie,

What a marvel are these photos you managed to take. Quite an extensive menu is being served non-stop as you wrote, a mother's work is never done. Guess that the father also helps feeding and as often said, the elder brood helps feed the new brood. It takes the effort of all for managing this highly demanding task.
This is one of my favorite birds, they're so hyper and so agile. Love watching them take all the spiders and bugs away from windows and such.
Love to you,
Mariette

Pam :) said...

Amazing captures of these sweet little wrens, Julie.

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant pictures of the House Wren.

Derek & Chris Thomas said...

A wonderful set of images and nice to see breeding behaviour as it happens. Marvellous!

prairiebirder said...

Beautiful, post and photos, Julie, they made me smile!

Laurence Butler said...

Marvelous shots Julie. That House Wren caught quite feast. It's amazing to think that was al within two 45 minute periods too. Imagine all the bugs throughout the day...

Sharon M said...

Fantastic shots!

Sonia Aguiar said...

Hola Julie. Son unas fotos fantásticas. Saludos cordiales.

Melissa Crytzer Fry said...

Oh my gosh, Julie... your photos are marvelous! Harsh sunlight? The photos are professional and perfect! Thanks so much for sharing. I love how your wrens show a resemblance to our desert wrens.

PoetessWug said...

Visiting your blog is always a feast for my eyes...and an education. ^_^ Thank you! Just beautiful...as usual.

Horst in Edmonton said...

A wonderful series of photos. What a great little bird.

Beverly said...

Wonderful series, Julie!!! Fantastic work, as always!

Maria said...

It's amazing how you've been able to capture all kinds of meals in their beaks. with each image there's a different type of insect/prey. This is amazing!

punkychewster said...

aww i love this series! it's great that the wren seems unbothered by your presence. I love watching birds do their parenting! i watched the robins in my yard raise two broods in the same nest (they actually came back!)

dAwN said...

Wow! Look at all the types of bugs..Great series!

Kenny Salazar said...

Fantastic series Julie!

Tinie said...

What a beautiful series Julie, moments you'll have to tackle here.
Here I like.
Greetings Tinie

Digi-Irma said...

Fantastic shots!
Greetings Irma

Linda Rockwell said...

What a darling photo series. Such a busy, busy birdie mom!!

Gillian Olson said...

What beautiful pictures, really enjoyed this series.

JRandSue said...

Loved every shot,fantastic sharp detail,a delight to see.
John.

Gunnar H. said...

Nice blog - nice pictures!

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

I simply adore wrens! They nest in my yard every year, such lovely music while during their time here. Your pictures of the healthy juicy meals the babes are getting is outstanding as usual Julie, wonderful post!

RVDaalen said...

Great captured shots of this Wrens


Cheerz,

Remco

Mike said...

Very nice series of images.

Rohrerbot said...

These are fantastic!!! Sun shmun. These are great and a lot of fun....I try to capture birds with a meal in their mouth....I love all the different bugs in the various pics. Fun!

Guy said...

Hi Julie

This was a wonderful series I loved the fact that you also got a census of the nearby insects by seeing what the Wren provided to the chicks.

All the best.
Guy

Helma said...

Hi Julie, this is still really beautiful. What a great series and so sharp. The details are beautiful to see. Compliment.

Greetings, Helma

Pam :) said...

Be still my heart.. I wish we had House Wrens nearby so I too could enjoy watching them.

Gorgeous captures, Julie.
Have a delightful weekend :)

BlueShell said...

Absolutely stunning! Love this blog!
BShell

Daniel LaFrance said...

You had a fun time watching and capturing the attentive parent.

Great series!!!

ShySongbird said...

What beautiful photos! Stunning captures Julie! How engrossing it must have been to spend time witnessing this attentive parenting. A really lovely post again :-)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Beautiful photos and nice seeing all of those insects getting ready to go down the hatch;')~

eileeninmd said...

Awesome series on the House Wren! Your photos are beautiful. Have a great weekend!

eileeninmd said...

Awesome series on the House Wren! Your photos are beautiful. Have a great weekend!

Robin Clifton said...

Superb!

dreamfalcon said...

Great series - I love how you captured the variety of insects they feed, quite interesting.

Ricardo Torres said...

AMAZING series There're fantastic Congratulations from Spain

Debbie said...

i have been seeing so many little one's and such busy moms....

this is a great series and i thought the light was perfect!!

Larry Ostby said...

Absolutely beautiful Julie. Your series of photos demonstrates a tenacious need to feed. What amazes me is the variety of protein the youngsters receive. Your photos, as always are terrific. Color and sharpness, impeccable. A wonderful post Julie. Thanks.

Hilke Breder said...

Marvelous series, Julie. Astounding variety of insects!

Kathie Brown said...

Well done Julie! These are amazing photos!

stardust said...

Sorry to be a late comer, I seem to have missed this amazing post when it was posted. Thanks to your careful observation and nice and clear photography, Julie, I enjoyed seeing laudable parenting of the wren. How cute they are! In spite of the harsh sunlight of the day, the colors of the photos are soft. Thanks for sharing.

Yoko

forgetmenot said...

Amazing photos, Julie--I'm not sure you could get much better ones. What fun it must be to live where the wonders of nature are all around you. Hope your house is coming along nicely. Mickie :)

Ruby said...

Lovely pictures Julie!!

John's Island said...

Hi Julie, An absolutely stunning series of photos! And the perfect title too! Congrats on the excellent photography and thanks for sharing. Also, thanks for your very kind comment on my blog! John

Jim Braswell said...

Awesome, Julie!

ingrid@thefreequark said...

Okay, from a purely practical standpoint, every species should have a 'fecal sac.; :-) I've seen birds clean house this way many times, but your photos capture the whole process beautifully.

Gunnar H. said...

Nice pictures with good details!

Subra said...

Julie,
Excellent write-up and crisp pictures!

Manuel Luis said...

Uma serie muito interessante, a incansável CARRIÇA como aqui em Portugal se chama. Fazem os ninhos nos buracos das paredes da casa. São nossos amigos, limpam os insetos indesejáveis.
Abraço

carmen said...

Hermoso!!!!! saludos

Debbie Miller @HooootOwl said...

Breathtaking photos Julie, so many good meals .. she is one busy mama!

Joke van de Klift said...

Hallo Julie,

Ik wil je complimenteren voor je schitterende blog.
Wat een prachtige foto's heb je gemaakt van de vogeltjes. Wat hebben ze het druk met het voederen van hun jongen.

"SCHITTEREND"

Lieve groetjes, Joke

Chris said...

Fantastic post Julie and very nice shots... Well done. Hope the little ones are doing fine!

Jeanne said...

Hallo Julie
Wat een prachtige serie weer !!!
Grt Jeanne

forgetmenot said...

Another quick scan of your amazing photos. My last "babies" just "flew the coop". I've had doves, robins, cardinals, and finches make nests right outside my kitchen window. It has been such fun all summer long to watch them grow and take flight. Hope all is well and your house is "coming right along". Mickie :)

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Wonderful photos! One nasty raccoon destroyed many of my bird houses so this fall we will be repairing.

Sharon Whitley said...

Wow what a variety of insects they find -I just love watching birds feeding their young - I had a robin's nest a couple of years ago and a thrush nest in the garden the year before that and used to sit just watching mum and dad feeding their young - they never stop! Amazing thing nature - this is a great blog, just come across it this morning - you have a new follower!

John's Island said...

Hi Julie, Stopping by again to enjoy your wonderful photos. So good to hear from you on John's Island today. Thank you for the kind words. Hope you are having a fine summer. For me it seems to be flying by so fast. Before we know it Fall will be here. Thanks again for encouraging me with your comments. Very best regards to you and your family. John

Noushka said...

Brilliant last posts!
Your photography is really wonderful!
Sorry I haven't been present more often, but this summer we went hiking a lot in the Pyrenees mountains!
These little wrens are so cute, I love the fathers' colour!
A wonderful idea to put all those nest boxes up!
congratulations for all this work, Julie!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Julie,

Thanks for your visit. Did also visit the Birding is fun blog. Quite interesting and very well written.
Have a Happy Labor Day weekend!
Hugs to you,
Mariette

Didier 85 said...

Very lovely pictures ! I like it...
Good night from France

Linda said...

Excellent timing, sharp images and a fascinating bird Julie!!

Juliana said...

Oh... a lot of yummy things))))

xoxo, Juliana
[pjhappies.blogspot.com]

PhotoLeoGrapher said...

Amazing! Congrats Julie!

EllenB said...

Hi, Julie,
We would like to use your image of a wren with a fecal sac, for BirdNote.org. Please email me, and we can talk further.
Thanks, Ellen Blackstone, ellenb@birdnote.org