Saturday, July 11, 2020

House Wren Votes Kiosk #1 Bird Habitat

We have a kiosk at the Herrontown Woods parking lot, built by the county many years ago in such a sturdy fashion that it will surely rival the boulders up on the ridge in longevity.

The kiosk was for a long time, like Herrontown Woods, a blank slate, but we have finally populated it with maps and photos and information, and realized some of its possibilities.

No matter how solidly built, the kiosk still has a soft spot for nature, as we discovered not long ago when we stood near the kiosk long enough to notice a house wren's comings and goings. The reason for its visits became clear only when the young chattered loud enough to hear, and a closer look at the rafters revealed

a hole in the hollow metal beam that fit the house wren's needs.

The reason for lingering around the kiosk long enough to notice the nest was the installation of a gutter to direct runoff from the kiosk into a cistern. There have been long dry spells this summer, necessitating bringing gallon jugs of water from home to water new plantings at the botanical garden next to the parking lot. Half the kiosk's small roof is more than enough to fill the cistern during a good rain.

The cistern was donated by board member Peter Thompson. The gutter and a small section of hose needed to repair the cistern were found on the curb, and the wood to elevate the cistern is rot-resistant black locust from a tree that fell in a neighbor's yard. Serendipity serves both people and birds.

Photo below: A scene in the Herrontown Woods botanical garden, with beebalm and wild senna, the "walking tree", and a yurt that some highschool students built earlier this summer.