One of the construction workers at the building site went into overload yesterday. A male sparrow wearing a cap of rust-colored feathers and carrying a beakfull of grasses landed on the outer hog panel. He sat there looking this way and that, occasionally giving a pathetic, muffled cheep. He looked for all the world like a man coming out of Lowe's with a load of material, wondering where in heck he'd parked his truck. With all the nest building going on, I think this guy has been working overtime and just forgot where he was supposed to deliver the goods. He finally flew off around the outside of the barn, probably to meet up with an irate boss.
Birds aren't the only critters building nests in the barn. The warm (make that hot) weather has brought out the paper wasps, yellowjackets, and mud daubers. I am continually on the lookout for the start of nests in the corners and rafters, knocking down three or four every day now. Wasps, like mosquitoes, are insects for which I can find no redeeming qualities. Even the website I went to gave a halfhearted, apologetic, "Well, they do provide food for bears and birds." There are no bears in this immediate vicinity and my birds want nothing to do with wasps. Bees have an honest, hard-working hum; the buzzing of wasps is malevolent. While I can admire the intricate chambers created by the paper wasps, I do not hesitate to mash them flat with the flat side of a hammer when I can reach them. For the nests too high up, I've found a non-poisonous spray; the only kind I can use in the barn.
The barn swallows were evidently just looky-loos and have rejected our particular housing tract. I've seen no sign of them moving in. Darn it. Well, I guess you just can't choose your neighbors.