There was a sharp dart, a brown zip, that landed in my Mahonia. The dart, a bird, I realized as I focused my newly awake eyes, had a tail at a hard angle with its body. A wren, I thought and reached for my glasses and then binoculars. Magnified, I could see the bird had a band as pale as its belly above it eye. A Bewick’s Wren, and, as I followed its movements, I discovered its nest.
In early December one of our first winter storms brought heavy snow and wind that broke branches in the flowering crab in my front yard. One broken branch fell across a lamp on a pole that stands in front of the house. The lamp lost some glass in the mishap. The Bewick’s Wren was now using the space of lost glass as an entrance and was building a nest in the lamp.
I watched the nest building and quickly recognized that I had a mated pair of wrens at work. When one would arrive at the lamp entrance with a stick, the other would fly out to gather more material. They gathered sticks, leaves, and bark. One would gather and then the other. Inside the lamp, a dead white lightbulb stood, looking ever-so-much like the top of an egg in the growing nest.
The nest has grown steadily this week, although I see the wrens at work only in the mornings. This evening, when I arrived at home after work, the entrance to the lamp was covered by a loose gathering of leaves. The lamp space looks full, and I wonder whether the time has arrived to lay eggs.