Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bird Drama

We have a nest being occupied by Eastern Pheobes for the second year.  It is under the screened in porch off our bedroom.... four beautiful tiny eggs.


Mama Pheobe sits, and waits.



Hatching Day:  three....


then four.....



The next check-in days later brings disappointment,  three of the nestlings have either fallen or been pushed from the nest.  A quick search of the ground below turns up nothing.


Another day or two goes by and Mama Pheobe is never in her nest, though she is going under the porch often.  I can't see the baby through the floorboards, so out I go with my camera (the only way to see in the nest).

Empty.


My heart sinks.  I search the ground beneath the nest but see nothing.  Then I think I hear a peep.  And another.  But from where...it is not from under the nest.


I am looking frantically, trying to hear that faint peeping again...and I do.  The baby bird is in an empty compost bag.   That I am standing on!!   Luckily the bag was clear as the bird is actually tucked inside the plastic.  My heart skips as I fear I must have stepped on it, but by God's grace it appears unharmed.  This compost bag is three feet from the nest.  How?  I scooped up this poor bird so quickly I didn't even think to capture a photograph of it, until it was in my hand that is.

Back to the nest sweet bird, hopefully Mama will hear your calls.


I don't know why things are going so terribly this year, in this nest.  
I hope that this youngster makes it.  I really do.  

10 comments:

Thomas said...

Years ago, I noticed 5 baby birds were lying on the grass near the bush my dad had just cut down. I resurrected the nest onto a nearby bushed and placed the chicks back in. Luckily all of them made it. I hope this guy does too!

Dani said...

I hope the little fuzz butt makes it!

Erin said...

Wow, I have never seen that type of bird here. That bird surely would have died in the heat here in plastic. Good job rescuing baby!

Kelly said...

I know it Erin, luckily it was under the shade of the porch. The little bird is in the nest, head up, beak open this morning so they may be some hope for it!

Annie's Granny said...

We've begun shooing the birds away from nesting on our patio, after too many heartbreaking incidences with those precious babies. We got one healthy baby robin out of four the last time, and it was touch and go with him. I was like a mother hen...er, robin until the day he flew the nest. Even that day was a real harrowing experience, with our neighborhood crow hovering over him and me running out shooing it away. He did make it though, and actually became very tame. He visited us many times over the next two years, and would sit on the porch next to Mr. Granny, who was the one who gently returned him to his nest each time he fell out. The second spring, he brought his mate and two youngsters with him, but they would sit on the fence, while "Rob" sat on the porch with his human.

meemsnyc said...

This happened to us one year at my parent's place. There was a nest in one of hanging plant baskets. And one of the little birds fell out of the nest. At the time, my little niece picked up the baby bird with her bare hands and put it back in the nest. The mommy bird fed all the other babies but ignored the one that was touched by my niece. We found out through research that the mom bird can smell the scent of humans on the baby and will ignore it. The poor baby bird didn't make it.

Kelly said...

The human scent bit is just a rumor- the best thing we can ever do for a found baby bird is return it to the nest, or even 'make one' and leave it in a protected spot - parents will often continue to feed the bird even when separated from the nest.

Fledglings are often fed on the ground until they are able to fly by Mom & Dad, and people often assume they need rescue, but they just need to be left alone, or placed into a higher bush etc. to keep out of reach of dogs, kids, cats, lawnmowers etc...moving them to higher protected ground can be a great idea.

(We have spent a good deal of time on nature walks with bird people, can you tell? Lol.)

Erin said...

you are right Kelly, I have read and seen that it's just an old wives' tale. There were some kids throwing rocks at a bird last week in my front yard and I just about killed them on the spot - one little hoodlum says "it can't fly, it won't live anyways". I look over at the little baby dove hiding under my juniper bushes, look up at mama on the power line watching and told the kids all about how they can't fly for about a week and hide in the underbrush and mama comes to feed them and watches for predators and alerts the baby to hide, this is how they learn, I could see their faces "blah, blah, blah"... I am sure they think I am the crazy lady, but if I catch them throwing rocks at anything around my yard again there will be hell to pay! Wouldn't you know I caught them trying to pull the legs off a HUGE toad the other night on my sidewalk? Our neighborhood kids are a bunch of little "jefferey dahmers", that's what I call kids like that! Makes me crazy since I try to create a haven for wildlife but all the kids know where to come find mischief now...

Kelly said...

It is discustiung Erin and you are right...future serial killers.

Ruralrose said...

Awesome post Kelly, I am sorry I have missed so much on your blog. You have been very busy. Thanks for posting. These pictures deserve to be in National Geographic! Peace