We love to meet our new neighbors

Published 7:35 am Monday, March 31, 2014

It comes as a surprise one day to look and see that we are getting new neighbors. What an exciting time, to find new friends to help fill a vacancy in our area of existence. This is always an opportunity to see new activities and to broaden our perspective on brotherhood.

If there were any good thing about Hurricane Katrina it would be that it brought an influx of newcomers who came to be made a part of our communities. Hopefully, we won’t need another hurricane to bring new friends and neighbors.

Sometimes our new neighbors are beings we may have known about for three or four years, and it doesn’t always have to be people, maybe just a few of our bird friends. Anyone who enjoys watching some of our local birds will have picked favorites from the many species we are blessed with. There is nothing prettier than blue jays and cardinals, but there are also blue buntings that drift into our locale, and the nuthatches and sparrows. Yet, the favorite of them all is the little wren, of which there are several different species. The wren is the busiest of all the birds, seldom takes a midday nap like most of his fellow birds, and works from daylight until just before dark, daylight saving time or not. He feeds right along with the big birds in the feeder for a short time, several times a day. At other times he is looking for bugs, ants, spiders or the like.

When the wren is your favorite and you notice one day he is building a nest in a hanging flower plant on the porch it gets to be even more enjoyable to watch his actions. The male works for two or three days building a nest that will be good enough to attract a female. When she has been lured into his plan of things, she will become part of the building team, especially doing the inner lining of the future home for her and her eggs and babies. When the eggs do arrive, three and sometimes four, she will sit for hours every day, being relieved once or twice by the male. All the while he is steadily bringing bits of food, bugs, worms or whatever he can find. When the eggs begin to hatch he doubles with sitting with the babies and still bringing a lot of food to the nest.

As the eggs hatch and the babies begin to feed, the pair of adults are really busy providing food for their hungry mouths. In just a couple of weeks the newcomers begin to stretch their wings and build up their wing muscles. For a few days they will perch on the side of the nest and practice flapping their new little wings. One of the babies is usually bigger and develops sooner than his siblings. He will be the first to actually fly out across the yard to a bush or shrub while the parents are flying all around, encouraging the young fellow. The others will soon try their solo flight and join the parents and leader in their surroundings, looking for food. It is still interesting to watch as the adults take the youngsters around and teach them how to feed themselves, where to look for food and what to avoid.

Soon the time comes when mama and papa claim their territorial rights and the young have to find their own place to settle. It seems to be a sad time but they actually seem to be glad to get out and explore. Try to find some time to watch our feathered friends and enjoy their way of providing and living. It sure beats what is on TV nowadays.

Probably the most watched birds are the little humming birds that show up in March and leave in October. Two came to our feeders last Friday, and are busy getting their area guarded as their own. More about them later.

We have to remember the Lord above has created these creatures for our enjoyment, so remember to give Him thanks. May He bless us all today.