Carolina wren journal

 

So I have been a graduate student here at UGA for almost a year now. I had no idea what being a Ph.D. student mean when I joined the program. Every time when I think about it, I just feel lucky that Dr. Ross would take me on. At first, it felt largely like I was in undergrad with a crazy class schedule but there are definitely times that you recognize yourself as a graduate student. Lab meetings, discussion with my advisor and my peers, talking to speakers after the seminar, teach biology lab by myself, all those moments make me feel smart. I am also grateful that my colleagues are all very nice, intelligent, and easy going.

As of this summer, I moved to a house with a porch over-looking an intersection. Two weeks ago, my roommates informed me about a couple of house wrens coming near the porch and twitter loudly. They suspected a nest was built near the house. (It is great to live with a bunch of knowledgeable PhD students.)(As I google it later, I believe the species should be Carolina wren.)

And they were right (May 25): !!

wren1May25

For the first time, I saw a bird’s nest with tiny pink meatballs in it. They should be about one week old at this point. The nest is built right at the center of roof gap. So we got to watch the parents bring in bug food and taking out the baby poop every time we sit at the porch table.

After a few days, the chicks have grown quite much. Their yellow beaks look quite adorable. I assume the bright color also help to mark the feeding opening for the parents in the dark.

(May 30)

wren3May30

I thought about setting up a camera to record video but give up thinking it may disturb the birds too much. I check on them every few days. They grow much faster than I expected.

(June 3)

wren4June3

The last Sunday I sat down for two hours to count the visit of the parents to the nest. Yet the record is lost when I cut and paste the text, it pasted the previously copied text. Yea (fck), welldone (you), smart computer! Basically, from 4 pm to 5 pm, the parent visited every 10 minutes. After 5 pm they came in a much higher frequency. There was a minute in which the mom came, followed by the dad, then mom again, 3 feeding events just in one minute, showing how efficient they are at finding insects.

This morning (June 6), the wrens were so loud that disturbed my sleep. When I finally got up, I was told the chicks have already fledged. Already…… I was expecting another week. So being a late sleeper I missed the most exciting event in the house wren documentary.

Fortunately, I got to have a last sight of the young bird hopping in the branches of the tree. My roommate Uma took this photo of one of the puff ball chicks.

wren5DSCN1186

Good luck little wrens! Come visit sometimes!

 

 

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