Monday, August 3, 2009

House Wren Family; Sickness

For about a month now, I've watched one House Wren, then two take over both holes of a nest box (and it looks like maybe they shoved some sticks into the tiny box below as well) and finally decide to use the top hole. I watched them fail to shove 6 inch long sticks into those tiny holes and look around wondering where the stick went after it fell onto the ground. I've watched them nearly get attacked by Blue Jays and Common Grackles and perch on the ornamental metal windmill, wings spread out, bill pointed at the sky, calling as loudly as possible. I've heard them sing every day for all of that time. They have become familiar neighbors, ones I say hi to in passing every morning.

So surprised I was when I woke up on Saturday to hear what seems like 3 or 4 babies peeping hungrily from that top hole. It felt like Christmas. Both parents were extremely busy all day both days of the weekend looking for food. I was pleased to see all of the pesky insects in their bills (they seemed not so desiring of the insects I like). It was neat watching them dart under the parked cars, under bushes, in the wood pile, any little crevice where a bug might have been hiding. Then one of them would stand guard on the feeder while the other would perch on the windmill, shaking down it's wings before entering the box from which tiny cries could be heard. I hope I am available when the wrens finally fledge. Last summer, I helped band a noisy family of House Wrens, and there is just something special about that species.

Today I attended an early going-away party for the two interns, Kate and Taryn, at the Wilton Wildlife Preserve. Their terms at the WWPP are up later this August. I will miss them both, they have both been so kind. It is weird to think the experiences I had this spring there will never happen with the same energy again. But I am glad that they both seem to be excited about where they are headed in their lives, though I could sense Taryn's nervousness of not having anything lined up yet. But she'll be okay, as she is quite resilient and perseveres.

An Indigo Bunting sat outside and sang for most of the time we were out there (from 5 to 7 PM). There were also approximately 4-6 Tree Swallows bubbling overhead. One other person seemed to tune into them for a bit, and I thought, "Ahhh, a kindred spirit."

I was also delighted to see that someone had photographed the Delegan Pond osprey! I've already forgotten the name, but whoever it was, has talent.


I am unsure of when my next outing will be. For 4-5 days now I have been suffering, and I'm not quite sure what it is, but I don't like what it seems to be. The symptoms all bring back memories of those I had with Lyme Disease last summer. Yes, it's absolutely possible that I've come down with it again, knowingly having been bitten 3 times earlier this year, and being outside in the woods and flowers so much. I just feel absolutely miserable. So much joint pain, sore muscles, both types of pain migrating throughout my body, mildly stiff neck, other parts becoming stiff after a short period of not moving, feeling like my muscles are on fire (you know how really hot flames look like coming off of something? That's how my skin feels). Dizziness. Periods of nausea. See, flu-like, arthritis-like symptoms, but definitely not the flu. I visit the doctor on Friday, but I am so anxious about being told it is stress (not that my particular doctor is that much of a jerk) or that everything will hinge on whether there is a rash (even if it's Lyme, a rash does not appear in somewhere near 50% of cases). I can't think of anything else it could be. RA comes close but some of the symptoms are not RA.

Just...ouch. I think I might go crawl under my desk into fetal position.


Woodswalker said...

I've been enjoying your birding adventures. Thanks for posting about them. What a treat to have a family of wrens near your house. I hung a wren house last year, but so far, no takers. Some bird stuffed some twigs in once, but never proceeded to finish the nest. How wrens do sing! A HUGE song for such a tiny bird.

If your doctor is smart, he/she will treat you with antibiotics just in case. Once you've had Lyme, the antibodies show up on blood tests even when you haven't been re-infected, so it's hard to be sure when Lyme recurs. And that bulls-eye rash sometimes doesn't show at all. I wonder if multiple re-infections eventually result in immunity. Or at least lessening of symptoms. I think I have it again this summer (3rd time) because of flu-like symptoms and having had at least a dozen tick bites. But this year's fluey symptoms were quite mild compared to the first time. My doctor did prescribe antibiotics, just in case. Untreated Lyme can be very serious. Good luck!

Lindsey said...

I'm so glad my birding posts are being enjoyed! I was absolutely overjoyed that the wren chose to nest here. I saw them here last summer, but they seemed unsure as to whether they wanted to nest in the yard. The song is so loud that I've been tricked as to the bird's location!

I'll see how my doctor approaches the situation at first, but I can be firm with what I want if things don't go as planned - my mindset is I'm not leaving without antibiotics. I hope/wish multiple re-infections resulted in immunity, ticks are really attracted to me. Third time?! Jeez! Though I shouldn't be surprised, it is the bane of every outdoorsperson. Progressed Lyme scares the utter daylights out of me!