A small brown wren hopped under the screen door and onto my summer porch. Not unusual for living in the country. Once they bang around a bit against the screens they either find their way out the way they came in or I wave my arms and block their retreat until they fly out the open door to freedom. This particular little bird arrived one day, spied an unused garden basket and decided that this was the safest place to build her nest. The basket is perched atop a tall cabinet wedged into a corner almost flush with the sliding door that shepherds my guests, my pups, and me in and out of the house. And still the little wren took a chance that this would be safer than risking exposure to the predators that awaited her eggs outside.
For the most part she was right, because not one person lifted the basket down to discover an intricately designed, woven reed like cave, perfect for incubating her eggs. To build her nest the little brown wren would hop under the 2-inch gap between door and floor, onto the bench and then with a flutter of wings and a huge leap up to the top of the cabinet and into the basket. How long it took her to do this none of us knew, but one day with a house full of guests and a garden full of herbs and vegetables, the basket was lifted down from the top of the cabinet and a shriek of surprise brought us all running to the porch. Eyes big with wonder and mouths shaped to the sound of “Ohhhhhhh,” we gazed upon a perfect nest and 5 perfect brown speckled eggs.