Archive for Wildlife

Our Bird Balconies

One of the few highlights of our lives during the pandemic around here was when a pair of house finches made a nest on our front porch and raised babies. We watched them go from eggs to fledglings, and we really wouldn’t mind having a chance to do that again.

Since the pandemic, finches have tried to make nests on our porch atop the pillars that hold up the roof several times, but the locations are a bit cramped and small. Some attempts have fallen out entirely. Sarah and I decided to put our heads together and solve the problem for them, or at least make things a little easier.

Sarah took measurements and drew me some plans (get-you-a-woman-who-can-draw-architectural-plans.meme). I took her draing into TinkerCAD to create a 3D design. TinkerCAD is about the simplest CAD program out there, but They’re crude, but they get the job done – I really need to learn a proper CAD application this year.

I fired them off in white PETG on the printer – normally I print in PLA because it doesn’t matter if my stuff is outdoor safe, but these needed to stand up to the elements a bit better. We printed two of them and this past weekend, mounted them.

A picture of one of our bird balconies installed atop a pillar under our porch

It remains to be seen if they will attempt to make use of them, but really it wasn’t too much time to create, so either way, I’m happy with the results.


red and brown bird on gray rock

Personal Life, Wildlife


Coming home from lunch yesterday, I heard the tell-tale screech of a red-tailed hawk from my yard. Fun fact – when you hear a sound effect on a TV show or movie that’s supposed to be an eagle, it’s actually a red-tailed hawk.

I know the sound pretty well – I’ve long been interested in birds of prey, and we live near the Wakarusa Wetlands, which means there’s actually a considerable amount of wildlife in the area. I once saw a dead muskrat in the street near our house, which is an odd thing to find so far from bodies of water.

The screech repeated and was close enough that I wanted to see the bird (biophile, me) so I walked down a house on the block and found it sitting on top of what looked like a squirrel nest. I caught motion across the street, and spotted another red-tailed hawk snapping branches off a tree. I put two and two together, and realized that what I thought was a squirrel nest was in fact a hawk nest in progress!

These new neighbors delight me to no end; I love that wildlife feels comfortable enough to raise families in my neighborhood. We’ve got a healthy population of bats in our bat box. I see mama possum about regularly, and there’s the Fattest Raccoon In the World that I see coming and going via a sewer grate. We have a pair of owls that sex it up outside our house fairly often too. Breezedale is for animal lovers, apparently.

I’m here for it.


brown and white bird on tree branch during daytime