Mid-Winter Spring Cleaning For the Birds

Winter can be a good time to inspect and clean out bird houses, to check on last year's activity, and to ready them for next year's occupancy.  Wood duck nest boxes are frequently mounted on poles in the middle of ponds to protect them from predators.  The frozen ice of mid-winter allows you to walk out and inspect them.  This year each of our three nest boxes produced broods.  The wood duck is one of the most beautiful ducks found in Iowa.  The female will lay from 9 to 14 eggs and a day or two after they hatch the mother will call to them from the water surface and they will each dive out to join her.  It is a common Spring time sight to see the hen gliding across the pond surface with a long string of chicks behind her.  We also mounted about a dozen blue bird houses around the monastery grounds last year to attract this beautiful songbird.  About half of them attracted bluebird nests and one popular house located in our orchard was the home of three separate broods over the course of the summer.  An equal number of wren houses were placed around the monastery to attract this enjoyable songbird. 

One of Iowa's rarest bird residents is the once common Barn Owl.  This past year, a Barn Owl was seen flying above one of New Melleray's orchards, a very rare sight.  We put up two barn owl nest boxes in the farm yard area in the hope of attracting a family of owls to take up residence this year.  A pair of adults raising a brood can consume 1,000 rodents.  We hope to control these rodents by means of these natural raptor predators rather than resorting to poisons.  The monks consider such ministrations to our brother birds and owls, as expressive of our aspiration to live at peace with nature and nature's God.  

Author: newmelleray abbey

Tags: nature, stewardship, wildlife

Recent Articles
By Category

Around the Abbey

Formation

Liturgy

Refectory Book

Schedule

By Month

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016