For the first time in a long time, I ran a Breeding Bird Survey route. BBS birding is intense. The surveyor must begin at sunrise (my starting time was 5:32 am), and drive a 25 mile route, stopping for precisely three minutes every half mile. During the three minute stop, the observer is to record all birds seen and heard, and that can be a challenge, especially when the dawn chorus is in full swing. It's great practice, and makes one really look and listen, oftentimes in places and habitats that might not normally be visited. The data contributes to a massive pool - BBS surveys have been ongoing since 1966, and provide an excellent barometer of the health of North America's breeding birds.
My route extends on a north-south trajectory through rural Hardin County, ending at the massive Findlay Reservoir in Hancock County. I made the run last Friday, and tallied about 71 species - not bad for farm country. This rural run reinforced how Vesper Sparrows thrive in highly agricultural landscapes, and how many Red-headed Woodpeckers live in open country interspersed with woodlots.
Carolina Wrens love to nest in flowerpots such as this. If you've got 'em around, hang a few pots on the porch or wherever, and there's a good chance your geranium basket will grow birds in addition to plants. The Bewick's Wren also likes hanging baskets. One of the last known Ohio nests of this species, which is now likely extirpated here, was found in the early 1990's in Pike County by Dave Minney. Those birds, which I saw, were nesting in a pot pretty much just like the one in my photo. It hung from a rail on a country home's porch, and I think that the house's human inhabitants didn't really understand the hubbub the little birds created among birders, who stood around staring at their geranium pot for extended periods. Nonetheless, the homeowners were gracious hosts and endured the ogling of their wrens by birdwatchers.
By now, these baby wrens are probably out and about, and hopefully they didn't suffer too many unwelcome waterings by whoever tends that flowerpot.