About the photo: Hungry chicks

12.22.2016

I decided to write a little bit about a moment that probably influenced me the most this year. The photo ”Hungry chicks” is taken in June during my project ”Forest whispers”. I have been getting closer and closer to the hidden gems of woodlands. I think that you can rightly call Eurasian wren a gem. Small, yet so skillful and bright. Male wrens are great singers and you must give some credit for the nests Eurasian wrens are used to build, that become home for their chicks. At least for a while.

Forester
In March, after the snow was gone, I started to visit my local woods more often. These environments were filled with birds singing and these songs got louder with every day passing by. I stumbled on a corner of an old forest. I have been there for several times before but never had the time to sit down, listen and observe. I was fortunate enough to be checked by a curious male Chaffinch and Eurasian wren.

As the days got warmer and the forest floor drowned in greenery, the corner of that forest got inhabited by many new residents, such as Wood warbler and Red-breasted flycatcher, who were as curious as the Chaffinch and Wren. This was something really new to me, because the Wood warbler for instance, started sitting on my shoulder every time that I visited its territory. Chaffinch and fairly uncommon Red-breasted flycatcher were acting as if I weren’t there and that I was no threat to them. This has been probably the biggest compliment to me, and a compliment that every wildlife photographer would like to get. Needless to say, that I’m not exaggerating.

wren hide
As I sat on an old, large birch that had just fallen, I noticed that there was more than one Wren. The male Wren was singing in the background, declaring that it was still his kingdom, but the female bird was looking for caterpillars and insects in general. I was thinking to myself, that maybe it was hungry, but maybe it had some extra beaks to feed. Although summer days are relatively long in Estonia, the forest that I could easily call my home for two weeks, got pretty dark quite early in the evenings, so I had to leave. Besides, I didn’t like the flocks of female mosquitos either, that were after my blood. On my way to my bike, I couldn’t stop noticing a brownish ball hanging between the branches of an old, fallen tree.

Next moment, I saw a Wren entering that ball. It became clear to me that I discovered a well hidden gem, a Wren’s nest. These are not easy to find and shouldn’t be. The only reason I found it, was because it was hanging, which is not that common and that during the project I started to notice small details in the woods. I decided not to disturb the busy Wren for a week or two. Time passed by and I was back with my hide and I was positively surprised that the Wren continued its workflow, like nothing had happened. To be honest, nothing did happen. I am more than careful, concerning birds and their breeding season. Everything has to be done with a great precaution.

Hungry chicks
As I was sitting in the hide, I sensed that the moment those hungry chicks were leaving their comfy nest, was not far away. Even though, I continued observing them and I could not understand where the female Wren got its energy to bring fresh insects after every three minutes. It’s nearly impossible. And then came the clouds, bringing windy and rainy days. After being away for some days, I saw that the nest was empty. Luckily nothing bad happened to this brood, as they were begging for some food in the other corner of the forest.