So this year we are forecast an El Nino. Even before the first rain, which gave us a good inch of water a couple weeks ago, there is a shift in activity in the desert. For many years the house finches would raise young in the nesting baskets and boxes I placed around the eaves of the house. It is such a delight to hear the twittering of open beaks insisting that they are definitely the starvingest chick in the nest and need to be the recipient of the next beakfull of food. One year I even had a verdin build a nest in the bottom of the tiny windmill tied to my washing line. The verdin nest is a ball of sticks with an entrance facing downwards. A few years ago, the number of nests built dwindled noticeably and last year no chicks were raised around my house.
This year is different. In the wash where I frequently walk, a smoke tree which had one derelict verdin nest now has that nest remodelled, and a second one built. And the other day, I found a verdin nest in the mesquite in the front of the yard. I think it’s going to be a good year for rain here! [Just not on weekends, please…]