Menageries a trois, and other concerns…

This is a bird update.

House Martins:

House Martin

For those unversed in the ways of the world a  “Managerie a trois” is what the French call it when three animals try to share the same nest. I am pleased to report that Helen and ‘Arold have chosen a more respectable path.

This is now a happy nest.

I am pretty sure that we don’t have any hatchlings yet but we do have eggs. The nest is never left unattended, they seem to be taking the incubation in turns and every two minutes they swap places but that is about all that is happening on the Martins nest.


We solved the New Potato problem. We left a note saying, “More potatoes tomorrow.”

The Robin:

European Robin

This is going well. I put my new feeder out a couple of days ago. At first no bird would approach it but they were interested and hanging about the area.

On the second day I saw Robins hanging around. I took food from the feeder and threw it on the ground for them and they got it.

They have accepted the feeder.


My plan for the next couple of weeks is just to try and create an association between my presence and food.  They will see me filling the feeder and having it so close means that I can continue to take food from the feeder and toss it to them when I see them about.

My presence?

They eat my presents 🙂 We are a bit away from gifting live Wax Worms.

Later I shall be mean and only offer a few worms when I open the door. The bravest bird will learn to take them while I am still there, if he doesn’t the others will get them and Robins are very brave little birds.

The Swallows:

Barn Swallow

I sometimes think that the others aren’t even trying, like they don’t want to be famous. Rosa is a star. She breaks my heart, she makes me laugh, she is just tough competition for any other bird that wants to be on this blog.

The little ones are still fluffy. I can see four chicks in the nest but at this stage they are small and downy, so there may be a fifth.

Hey, Here are Rosa’s babies… Go full screen to see how sweet they are.

These birds are working hard to feed their chicks. Unlike most of the other garden birds I can’t help with the feeding, they have to catch their dinner on the wing but they seem to be doing a good job of it.

It is a busy life being a parent. Things have to be constantly brought into the nest and things have to be taken away. I would not recommend going full screen on this next one unless you are either a naturalist (Somebody who likes to take their clothes of outdoors, when Al isn’t there) or if you just want to get back on your children and gross them out a bit for what parenthood involves.


Well that video tells me that the chicks are being well fed and neither adult is shirking from their parental duties.

The yard is full of Swallows with little white packages in their beaks, looking for suitable targets, I presume and that will probably be the first sign that we see of the House Martins hatching. For now the Martins are still frantically gathering mud. Building extensions and brightening up nurseries. It is not just our pair that are late, they all seem to be.

House Martins

19 thoughts on “Menageries a trois, and other concerns…”

    1. Thank you Clare 🙂 The Potato famine has been averted, new supplies arrived yesterday. I have never had the opportunity to watch Martins like this before and I don’t really know what to expect but I am looking forward to finding out.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. This is so lovely, getting to see all their activities up close. The robins sure like the presents you’re giving them in the feeder. Good luck with the presents getting them to accept your presence! Thanks for you dedication to showing all this to us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Nancy 🙂 I had a great conversation with a Robin this morning but it was a bit one-sided. I opened my door around six am and a Robin flew down.

      “Oh, Hello. Is it breakfast time?”….”Here is the food, have some,” I take some worms from the feeder and toss them toward the Robin who bounces forward. “See, I am nice. You just need to get used to me.” Robin eats worms. A nice start to the day (They have to get used to the sound of my voice)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Eliza 🙂 I love the videos. This doesn’t happen to me every day and I am lucky to have the opportunity to watch the birds at this time in my life. I intend to make the most of it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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