Incident at Pooh Corner: Whose House is This?

By Diane Stuart, last updated 5/7/14 07:45am

Photo credit Diane Stuart  

My friends know I am trying to create a garden sanctuary—if not actually Pooh Corner—at least a refuge from the nastier realities of life. So imagine my dismay, as I hear a huge kerfluffle of squawking, then see a sparrow trying to squeeze its overlarge self into the tiny abode I’d painted and placed amidst the airy forest of jasmine vine—a wren’s home! Yes, it was invading our little wren house. The outraged victim dive bombs the larger bird to no effect—the sparrow calls in reinforcements and the wren is driven off.

I wonder, “Do sparrows steal wren’s eggs?” From my perch this is easily typed into Google, and the results are surprising.

The majority of responders seem to agree that the wren is usually the aggressor, often tossing out eggs of rivals, etc. Seriously? Yes, yes, I know “nature red in tooth and claw,” and all that, but I want none of it here. Can bird housing be so scarce that adverse possession is in effect? I’ve given my carport eaves to the dove couple, a section of my house’s siding to another set of sparrows, and my entire “garden house” to any number of winged beings clever enough to notice the broken-window entry.

But this apparently is not enough.

I’m firmly on the side of the wren. They were here last year; they were good, amusing tenants, with beautiful songs and fascinating work habits; they were no problem. And now this sparrow—so large it looks like a breach birth with the claws and legs jammed out the birdhouse entry—has the nerve to steal all that.

For now, a lull. All I really know is that I must stay out of this matter.

Later, a triumphant sparrow sits atop the house as if it were a nest in itself. Later still, the wren is back, busy at work, constructing his nest to attract his mate. My world has righted itself.


Rockville Living notes

Birdhouses for many different sizes of birds, as well as advice from owner Pete Givan and other knowledgeable staff on choosing one, are available at Wild Bird Center on the Jefferson St side of Federal Plaza.

You can also find some backyard bird supplies at Home Depot.

Filed under Home & Garden, Wildlife / biodiversity / nature appreciation

Login to add a comment.  Forgot your password?  Need an account?

Your email: Password: