I took the afternoon off, having spent the morning re-grouting the tile wall in our shower, and decided to make this post about another sort of remodeling.
This is a former birdhouse that we had hung on a tree in the forest at Fallen Timbers. I think it was originally intended for bluebirds, though there is no evidence that any bluebirds ever used it. When Libby and I visited Fallen Timbers recently, we wandered over to the area where we had hung this house. We found it resting on the ground, full of some sort of mush. We also found the bluebird-sized opening considerably enhanced, to about squirrel size.
Fallen Timbers does not have as much standing dead timber as Roundrock. The trees at Fallen Timbers tend to be older and larger (those that weren’t harvested by past owners), and while they may have den holes in them, there probably aren’t as many as at Roundrock. Thus it is not unlikely that a squirrel might have found this ready-made cavity handy and put a little effort into widening the opening.
My guess is that this was home to more than one squirrel and their combined weight snapped the rusty nail that was holding the box to the tree. That must have been an exciting moment for them. And inconvenient. If it happened during the winter, the evicted residents would have had to find a new den. If it happened with a predator nearby, they may have found themselves a meal.
When we came upon this house we didn’t have any nails with us (or a hammer). But I think I’ll re-hang it next chance I get and give the squirrels another chance at moving in and getting cozy.