Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lucy's Warblers in Grandma's Garden

The Tucson Audubon Society had a table full of Lucy's warbler houses outside Whole Foods yesterday.  They were giving them away for free.

This is not a usual occurrence.

In fact, I'd never heard of a Lucy's warbler or known that they were homeless creatures in need of nurturing.  But I listened and I learned and I came out with my groceries to find a box filled with bird nesting spaces and a kind gentleman to carry them to my trunk.

They were delighted to spread the wealth, and I was thrilled to have an activity for Garden Club today.

Apparently, a dearth of mature mesquite trees has created problems for the Lucy's warbler as it migrates.  The birds nest in shady spaces on the north and east sides of the trees.  As mesquite groves are bladed for sub-divisions, new trees are planted.  But these babies don't have mature foliage nor the trunk width to support even a tiny warbler nest.

In stepped the Tucson Audubon Society and their research based, absolutely perfect spaces created to seduce Lucy's warblers to nest and rest as they migrate.  The Prince Elementary School Garden Club was happy to help the birds.  They read the directions, checked out the various trunks of the giant mesquite tree in our garden, and used Grandma's new screwdriver with the magnetized tip to insert the wood screws through the pre-drilled holes in the wood into the wood of the tree.
The assisted living devices had to be at least 4' off the ground; in other words, above Grandma's shoulder.  Some gardeners were able to reach higher on the tree than I was.  
Others needed to survey the situation 
before finding a shady nook on the north side, with bark into which a screw could be inserted.  
By the end of their recess, we'd establish a way station for meandering warblers. 
There was no arguing over the tools.  There was cooperation and distribution of tasks, and enough work to go around. 
We made the world a better place today.
And we had fun doing it.

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