Monday, March 26, 2012

Rural Robbery


Don't let those big innocent looking eyes fool you.  This tufted titmouse is a burglar.  It's possible that he could be excused for robbing insulation from the Carolina wren's winter shelter, as he may not have fully understood the ramifications of his actions, but this week's burglaries were deliberate and premeditated.





























We've caught him red-handed on 3 occasions, dipping into the Carolina wren's carefully constructed home in the fish basket and robbing nesting material.  The Carolina wrens haven't been seen for a few days now, and since they are smaller than the titmice, it's just possible that they tucked their tails between their legs and retreated to one of their
alternate home sites.




It's not like there is any lack of nesting material available here; the yard and woods are full of grasses and twigs for any bird willing to look for them.  The titmouse even found the stash of Barley's hair that we put out for the purpose, and carried it off in large fluffy beakfuls.
































This week's events shouldn't surprise me.  Those little birds, I know, are opportunists.  While walking in the woods this week I stopped along the trail, and one of them flew close, flitting from branch to branch and and circling around me, chattering all the while.  I may have ventured too close to his nest, but more likely, to my thinking, he was checking out the nesting material on my head.  On 2 occasions in the past, one of these birds has sat on my head and pulled out hair.  No kidding.

We hope the Wrens will be back, even for a second nesting, but what happens next is anybody's guess.

It's a jungle out there.






For bird photos from around the world,
go to World Bird Wednesday.


For exquisite photos of birds to the south of us,
check out this site:
Pasión por las aves.




36 comments:

Zinnia said...

My goodness, what wonderful pictures of the tufted titmouse burgler... how composed of you not to want to intervene on behalf of the wrens and let nature take its course.
These bird shots are all stunning and that last one is a real beauty! You are being looked bang in the eye too! I think I recognize dogwood flowers, these are so lovely!
What camera lens are you using for all your lovely bird shots?

Nadege, said...

What a cute little thief.

hannah said...

The cheeky devil!

Connie, this is so delightful. I feel a Beatrix Potter booklet in the making?

Simone said...

The photo of your little burglar is just fabulous...you evidently didn't frighten him off!!

Wanda..plain~N~simple said...

This is one adorable little theif who is determined to make his family comfy! Beautiful shots, I love them all!

Barb said...

You take stunning photos! And what an incredible little bird - it's hard to love a burglar - but what can you do?

pens and needles said...

I hope you are planning your book ... you MUST put it into a book. Your stories are too good not to share. And your pix MAKE them come to life. Wonderful!!!!!

Pat said...

Wonderful captures of the cute little thief in action!

HansHB said...

Gorgeous post for WBW!
Have a nice evening!

Karen said...

The little thief! Cute though!

Gary said...

He sure is a cute thief though!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Crafty Gardener said...

What a little devil, caught in the act!!

Andrew said...

A wonderful little bird to see... and probably related to the the little Blue Tit on my post...

Horst in Edmonton said...

The Great Nest Robberies, sequel in the works.

Andrew, the Chickadee is related to the Blue Tit.

mick said...

A great series of photos and very interesting commentary.

joo said...

I love your post! Such a sweet little robber:)

fjällripan said...

Wonderful series!! What a beautiful bird :)

eileeninmd said...

Wow, and you caught the robber on film too. Poor wren. Great captures, I enjoyed this post. I put a containers out on my deck with some of my dog's hair, the birds like to use it for their nests.

Mama Zen said...

These are really lovely!

lisa said...

The little devil!!!
But oh my goodness, just look at those sweet eyes!
These are wonderful images Connie!

JillsyGirl Studio said...

Oh, I do so hope they come back. It's always a disappointment to follow wildlife, but then all of the sudden they're gone and you're left feeling abandoned. Great photos of the little bandit, though!

Carletta said...

What a fun post!
Love that first shot - a wonderful composition. All the shots are so cute of this sweet birdie.

Wren said...

A cute little burglar.

Gillian Olson said...

Yeah, you caught him red handed, but it is such a lovely little creature.

Springman said...

Is there a spunkier bird for its size than a tufted titmouse? Imagine stealing your hair!

Lui said...

Haha Connie!
Well all of creations have builders and visionaries, opportunist and hangers on, and those who are clueless and avid followers, and there are role switching and bullying and cheering and yes, it is a jungle out there.

As the Keeper in Heaven I assert my authority (animals just laugh at this and plants humor me by tickling my behind when I walk pass!) but apparently, there are no rules when it comes to survival! Sigh.

heyBJK said...

LOL! Great shots catching the Titmouse in the act! Nice job, Connie!

Marcie said...

The bird world is truly amazing...and you've captured and described it beautifully here!

Modesto Viegas said...

Nice bird, good series!

lisa said...

We have those all over the place here. i watched them all winter. Your shots are fantastic! Love the detail. Hope you're having a good week and enjoying the summer-type weather!

Connie Smiley said...

In answer to Zinnia's question, the lens I used on these is a Sigma 150-500mm. I just got it recently, after wanting one for a long time, and I'm having lots of fun with it.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - great pictures.

It's a dog eat dog world out there - even if these are not dogs! But you know what I mean!

Stewart M - Australia

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Nature can sure give us the giggles, especially when the story is told as you have shared it Connie;) Those Wrens are busy elsewhere, and the Titmouse, must have known they moved on. I took a photo yesterday which I shall share later of a Gray Squirrel and a Yellow shafted Flicker showing up at a single tree hole same time~

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Wonderful captures, beautifully done.

Jodi said...

Oh, my! And that last photo is a crack-up. Seems to be saying, "Yeah, I did it. Whadda you gonna do about it?"

Tricia @ Bluff Area Daily said...

Oh no, those crazy birds! I hope the Wren's come back, too... I can't believe the bird actually pulled your hair, that's so crazy! =0