There I was, checking out a new gas grill burner and about to see if it would fit our old gas grill. We have had this cast iron grill forever. We purchased it in 1985 while assigned to the USAF Survival School Fairchild AFB in Washington!
Yep, the old grill is close to 30 years old and in better shape than I am. I still remember firing it up at Fairchild AFB when it was covered in snow. Nothing is going to keep this Texan from grilling outside. I even used it when it was below zero degrees up there.
As I was checking out the old grill, I opened the lid and behold there was a bird nest with three eggs. I carefully closed the lid.
A couple of days later, I checked on the bird eggs and to my surprise one of the eggs had hatched. I took photos of the nest, two unhatched eggs and the new baby bird.
My wife, Beth, checked on the internet and found out that an Ash-throated Flycatcher had nested in our old gas grill.
Compared to its close relative, the Great Crested Flycatcher, the Ash-throated Flycatcher is slightly smaller. The male and female look alike. They are grayish brown on their back and head and have a bushy crest. The throat and breast are pale gray; the belly and undertail converts are pale yellow.
They are found throughout most of the western United States and Mexico.
The breeding range extends as far north as Oregon and Washington state. How about that!
On the average they have four to five eggs during incubation period of 15 days. The female alone incubates the eggs and are not "tight sitters."
They often leave the nest for hours at a time, especially during the hottest part of the day.
I guess I won't be using that gas grill anytime soon, but I'm very pleased that the mother bird selected it for her nesting.
I hope you enjoyed the story.