Best plans foiled

I have a rare treat today. It's a post about a disappointment in the garden, with the best of intentions not producing the results that were hoped for. Plans that seemed so solid and promised great returns a month ago now reveal a major flaw -- through unexpected circumstances.

That's not what makes this post special though, because as gardeners we deal with spoiled plans and disappointing results all of the time. What makes this post special is that it's not the humans in the garden whose plans have been foiled...


It's the birds!

As usual every spring, the grackles arrive and immediately claim the bamboos as prime nesting areas. Their squeaks, whistles, and croaks provide a constant background while I work out here. Most years I hear them primarily, but this year I get to see them -- much to their chagrin I'm sure.

Although the bamboos were fully leafed out when they created their nests a month ago, the leaves were mostly dead and have been falling slowly but steadily ever since.

So the nests became much more visible, resulting in lots of nervous grackle parents.

I'm not sure what bird made this nest, if it's still inhabited, or if it's a remnant from last year:

(From the ground it looks like somebody threw a coconut into the bamboo and it stuck up there!)

Those first photos were taken about 2 weeks ago. I took more yesterday as the nests are even more exposed now:

You might be able to see lots of green spikes in some of these photos -- those are the new leaves coming in.

It won't be long before many of these nests are hidden again...

...although some will remain exposed for a while longer as their host bamboos were top-killed. Cover will have to wait until the new culms grow and leaf out.

It seems to me like some of these nests have been abandoned, but some are still active:

See the grackle tail in the left nest? (There are two nests in this photo)

I'm glad to get a chance to see these nests more clearly and to know that it's not just my plans in the garden that sometimes get foiled!

I counted ten nests in the bamboo, but there could be more. 


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Anonymous –   – (April 30, 2014 at 9:06 AM)  

My birds love my bamboo too! It's too bad so many people fear planting it, or there would be a lot more happy birds out there. Very cool! -jeremy

outlawgardener  – (April 30, 2014 at 9:11 AM)  

The grackles and I are all cheering your bamboo's regreening!

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