Tuesday, June 7, 2022

If You Build It, They Will Come

May 2021
"If you build it, they will come ..."

It's a dramatic moment in the classic movie, "Field of Dreams." We had our own "build it" moment last summer, when Kinley and Brooke visited the farm for a few days. One of our many activities included decorating bird houses.

Afterwards, Grandpa hung the birdhouses from the old windmill in the backyard. However, birds must have imagined a "No Vacancy" sign because none seemed interested in a stay on The County Line last summer.

Kinley's birdhouse met an untimely demise in one of this winter's windstorms. But Brooke's survived. And not long ago, Randy noticed that someone had taken us up on the offer of free lodging.

It doesn't appear that our visitor is the neatest housekeeper, since there are sticks and other paraphernalia sticking out of the sides and front.

We're not positive, but we think the visitor is a house wren.  (If someone knows for sure, please comment on their the blog or my Facebook page.)

I was taking photos of the birdhouse itself, when the occupant started flitting quickly among the trumpet vine that winds itself inside the windmill structure. The bird is small and has quite a singing voice. The Cornell Lab's All About Birds describes its singing as "rush-and-jumble song." It didn't seem very afraid of me.

Randy used the bird book that Jill and family gave him last year, but we still aren't sure about our ID. 

However, a bird watching website says that house wrens are common in Kansas. They have a short tail, thin bill, and dark barring on their wings and tail. Both males and females look the same.

The tails on our visitors seem longer than the photos showing the species. However, some of the information about house wrens seems to fit. Birdwatching HQ advices hanging a nest box in the backyard to attract the birds, since as they will readily use them to raise their young. The entrance hole’s diameter is not supposed to be any larger than 1 inch in diameter. By keeping the hole small, other birds can’t get inside to disturb the wren’s nest and babies. The website also says that house wrens are one of the only birds that will use a nest box hanging freely and not permanently attached to a tree or post.

We have added a bird bath in the back yard. So far, there haven't been many "swimmers" since the "pool" opened. 

The grape jelly buffet gets filled most days for our Baltimore oriole visitors.

Who wouldn't want to check in to our backyard accommodations?


  1. I guess Kinley and Brooke will be wanting to visit to check out the new inhabitants. What a lovely project to share with them.

    1. They will be here sometime during harvest, which is coming up soon.