Homemade Wildlife Cinematography

I have sort of an open door policy here for certain creatures. There are a couple of common house geckos that live with me and in peaceful co-existence with some anole chameleons . I don’t know if that violates the “no pets” policy of my lease but they’re harmless, cute, funny, don’t crawl over me in the dark and they eat insects so they’re welcome.

There is also a small, brown bird about the size of those colorful finches you see for sale in pet stores. In the mornings I usually have the front and back doors of the house open allowing for wonderful cross ventilation. I’ve seen this little wren, for lack of a better or more accurate ornithological classification, come into the kitchen from time to time either out of curiosity or looking for something to eat. Once or twice I actually saw the bird grab an insect and fly back out the door.

Recently, though, I’ve heard squawking noises out back and discovered that, hidden away in one of the metal beams that supports the second story back porch, is a tiny nest of which the little wren is the major-domo. From first light until dark the little bird works tirelessly collecting bugs and bringing them to her brood. I’m not sure whether she’s a single mom or if pop has stuck around to help but not more than a minute passes between one feeding and the next. If it’s just mom then she’s a real work horse. If pop’s around they’re a good team.

In the last couple of days the squawks have become louder and more persistent. I sat out on the steps leading to the second floor and finally caught the little wren with a large bug in her mouth and found where the nest is. Today I was able to capture several short videos of this feeding frenzy. And at the last minute after each feeding one of the trio of chicks turns around, presents it’s hind quarters to mom or dad and defecates and the fecal matter is taken off somewhere. Disgusting, to be sure, but can you imagine how befouled the nest would be if this wasn’t done?

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3 Comments

Filed under Boqueron Panama, Living Abroad, Living in Panama, Retirement, Retirement Abroad

3 responses to “Homemade Wildlife Cinematography

  1. What a neat video! And looking at the way that’s constructed – the neighborhood, not the nest – it’s very much like the corrugated metal covers over some of our parking spaces. Every year I’ve heard the birds around them, but didn’t think they could find a way in to the metal supports. I’m going to adopt your technique and just sit down and watch for a while – I’ll bet I can figure it out.

    Right now, i’ve got bluejays galore. Well, about six, maybe. I think they must have babies already, or they’re working up an appetite building their nests. Every morning they come for pecan halves – I wait until I hear them calling, then put out a handful – that way I’m sure the jays get them and not the pigeons and sparrows!

    It is amazing to watch the parent birds – at least with the rain we’ve gotten there are more bugs around than there have been.

    While I was sitting trying to get my feeding shot I noticed another bird behavior, but since my camera was set up on a tripod I couldn’t catch it. We have a neat blue bird down here. I mean blue all over. About 2/3 the size of a dove. In the back yard is the clothesline set up. I leave the clothespins hanging on the wire that is used in lieu of rope. The open of the pins hang down towards the ground. Spiders hide up inside them. I noticed this one bluebird landing on the wire and then hanging upside down to check out each clothespin to see if anything was hiding inside. He found five or six morsels all together. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to catch him doing it again. I just don’t have the patience to sit out there for hours on end waiting for a repeat performance.

  2. You are a keen observer Richard. And a patient one I might add. I enjoyed the video depicting the hungry siblings. Thanks for sharing.

    For the past few days I’ve been sitting out on the steps getting mom acclimated to my presence. At first she was very leery about going in to feed the chicks but later, when she knew I wasn’t a threat, she’d just fly right in. Day before yesterday I’d see a head now and then and yesterday they were really poking out. I put the camera on my tripod and over the next hour an a half I took 15 or 20 shots until I got the one I put up here.

  3. Randy

    Almost fifty years on the planet and never stopped to consider housekeeping in a wild bird’s nursery, No wonder people use nappies!

    I’ve made it nearly 70 years without knowing that, either. Makes me glad I’m not a momma bird.