Science Observation: Bird’s Nest – Hydro Update

Around these parts, one of the most eagerly anticipated portions of the day is late afternoon, when Hydro and Gazelle come to hunt for remnant seeds beneath our feeder. Hydro is so skittish, that until today I wasn’t able to get a good photo. As a side note, you’ll often hear that Seattlites don’t have an accent. Not true. I thought “skittish” was spelled “skiddish”, because that’s how people from the Pacific Northwest pronounce double “t” in the middle of a word. “Seattle” would never be spoken like it looks around here. It comes out “See-addle”. Now you know our secret. Listen for it next time you’re conversing with a Northwesterner. Back to Hydro.

Thankfully, the weather was incredibly warm today and our sliding glass door was open to let in a breeze. Usually the noise of it is what makes Hydro and his momma scurry away. Tonight I managed to noiselessly slide open the screen and get a couple of shots in before the dash from evil me and my clicking lens.

Teenager Hydro01

It is insane how well his markings make him blend in with the ground. Gazelle is still always close by our little guy as he eats. She often still feeds him. Not sure why he can’t just pick the seeds up himself (lazy bones), but then maybe Dark-Eyed Juncos have the same fear of kids choking that many human parents do. The seed feeding must be the equivalent of slicing up hot dogs lengthwise four times before cutting them into tiny pieces.

Teenager Hydro02I was able to capture this shot of him up in our cherry tree about a week ago. He has certainly become fluffier since then. I love the little speckles still dotting his feathers. We actually caught sight of Gazelle and Hydro in our neighbor’s yard during our family walk this morning. The kids flipped a lid right there on the sidewalk. They were amazed to find the two birds somewhere besides our own backyard. I am in the process of figuring out how to get rid of the other unhatched eggs from the nest in the hopes that Gazelle will reuse it for her second brood later this year. Does that make me an awful person?
Teenager Hydro03

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