Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Male or Female?

Hooray---a morning for reading, nest-watching, not house-cleaning, and writing.

Singularly focused, both house wren adults are feeding their nestlings as fast as birdly possible, arousing much newbird clamor with every delivery. Sometimes one parent arrives while the other is still at the door. When this happens, the newer arrival shoves the other away with much flutter and determination. I can't discern Mother from Father, unless the female is the slightly thinner one, emaciated from egg-laying and nest-sitting. Neither of them sing now. Too busy. I miss the bubbly musical song that was everpresent in the wait for the hatch.

Moe joins me in the watch for a few minutes before leaving on a golf excursion. We observe one of the adults duck into the house, emerge with a white capsule in its beak, and fly away with it.

"Fecal sac removal," I say, to which Moe responds, "Cleaning the bathroom. It must be the male."

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