Heated Birdbaths

Last Season's Carport Pets

by Josh Orlean
(Huntington, NY, USA)

Last year's carport guests

Last year's carport guests



My wife and I live on Long Island (NY). We have a house with a carport. Last year, for convenience sake, I hung our longest ladder horizontally on hooks in the carport. My wife didn't want me to do that for fear that she would bump her head.

Last April I noticed a birds nest on the ladder. I never thought I would be so excited about birds. I never went on a birdwatcher field trip.

I've had two close-up encounters with birds. One was not very good so I do not count myself as a fan. But here I was as excited as possible. I would sneak up to our kitchen window regularly hoping to sneak a peak at them.

Mostly, I would see the parents building the nest. Then I started to see the heads of the baby birds reaching out to get food from their parents.

I have a great photo that I hope I can share here. It's a photo I took just before they flew away.

One day I came out to take another photo and the nest was gone. When they flew away, it fell to the ground.

I now know they are Robins. So a year has passed and I regularly look at our ladder hoping they would return. And they have.

I have grabbed another ladder to climb up and take new photos. This new nest is much deeper and harder to see in side.

Could my excitement and climbing near to the nest have scared them away. This morning I quietly walked to the kitchen window hoping to catch the parents in the act. I have not seen them.

I hope I did not scare them away.

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Robin Fights for Jelly

by Joanne Knox
(Muskego, WI, USA )

Robin stealing Jelly

Robin stealing Jelly

Robin stealing Jelly Woodpecker acrobatics

About a year ago I got pulled into bird watching because a number of my good friends could quickly call off all sorts of bird names, colors, tell me where to find them, and what their particular song sounded like.

I was fascinated and perhaps just a bit jealous. I've never really gone "bird watching" but have found that sitting on my screen porch any time of the day would net me sightings from blue herons to pelicans, orioles to grackles and recently, ROBINS and Downy woodpeckers fighting over my oriole orange and grape jelly feeder.

As I sat there the other day watching a really big robin chase off a not so big oriole as it tried to get some of the sweet grape nectar, I began to wonder if I had a mutant robin. Don't they eat worms? Maybe he was mistaking the grape jelly for plum sauce to go with his worm tartar?

Next thing I know, there is a Downy woodpecker watching this whole thing. Seems he didn't care much about the jelly, he wanted the bright, juicy oranges that hung just over the jelly dispenser ...and there was no competition.

I consulted your website to help me understand my robin's behavior. Now that I know they also eat berries, I realize that I've made their food foraging quite easy and I know I don't have a mutant robins, albeit militant ones!

One problem remains. I don't know how to deal with the fact that I would rather see the orioles at my feeder, than I would the robins.

Guess the best thing to do is keep feeding whoever comes and enjoy the acrobatics of the woodpecker hanging upside down off his favorite suspended orange half.

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Robins Nest On Top of Light.

by Carmen and Kim
(West Seneca, NY)

A pair of robins built a nest on top of our outside light to the left of our garage back door.

There were 4 eggs in the nest and after about 14 days they hatched. There are at least 3 babies in the nest now.

My wife and I did not think they would make it because every time we went out the door to enter our back yard or let our dog out they would fly off the nest.

We are worried that when the fledglings fly down they may be harmed if we don't see them and let the dog out into the yard.

She is an 8 year old German Shepherd and although very friendly, she does like to chase things. Is there anything we can do to help keep the young birds safe?

We have to let the dog use the fenced back yard. How long does it take before they are able to fly out of harms way?

From: www.Wild-Bird-Watching.com


It can take 14 - 16 days after hatching before the young leave the nest.

Depending on what is around will determine if the fledglings will be safe or not. If trees and shrubs are close by they should be able to hide there.

Often young Robins end up in the middle of the yard. This is where people make the mistake of thinking the bird is abandoned and bring them inside separating them from their parents.

My suggestion would be to carefully check before letting the dog out. First to see if the birds are still in the nest. If so, no problem.

If you notice they are gone from the nest, either take the time to walk out before the dog or use a leash.

For the most part, once the young fledge they'll be out of your yard within a day.


Gene
wild-bird-watching.com

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Cirque du Soleil

by Patty
(Spokane)

Open wide and say ahhhh!

Open wide and say ahhhh!

Open wide and say ahhhh! Mom and Dad bathing between feedings Cirque du Soleil Goldfinch eating beet greens

Dear Gene,

I attached a recent picture of the babies for your pleasure and a photo of Mom and Dad bathing together between feedings. There are three babies.

A tiny one's head pops up when Mom flies in to feed them. I also could write you a story about the family of goldfinches that return every year to my garden (9 of them last September).

You don't have any stories about your signature bird for your website. I call this photo "Cirque du Soleil" as Daddy Goldfinch is an acrobat on the sunflower.

I plant black oil sunflower seeds so when the seeds are ready the whole family returns to harvest and entertain us.

The rest of the summer they enjoy eating beet greens (photo #4). For the past 3 summers Dad has taught his new family members the pleasure of eating beet greens. Mom eats them, too!

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Bad luck Robins.

by Shawna
(Calgary Canada)

I have a pair of robins that like to nest at the front of our house.

They set up in one of two places at the front of our house One is a cow skull by our stair case to the front on the house, the other is over the light in the corner right by our front door.

Over the years they seem to prefer setting up on the light which is not convenient for us.

I have tried to make my presence known by using the front door more often when I notice them come back in the spring to make them not want to set up their nest in that particular spot but it does not seem to work.

I like them being around but not startling me or guests when they are only feet from your head when the robin flies out of the nest to the lilac bush only a couple feet away to squawk at you angrily.

I am wondering if they would they stick around if I made a barricade around our light to prevent them nesting in that particular spot?

I just might see if I can find a nice nesting shelf and place it in a better spot so everyone can be happy.

My second question is in regards to their babies.

I had noticed I was not seeing the parents around as much lately but figured the babies were probably too big for the mom to sit in the nest and I just didn't see them hanging out in the nearby trees.

But when my sister was over the other day she went out our front door and I instantly noticed a bad smell with led me to a terrible assumption causing me to investigate.

So I jumped up on our hand rail so I could get my head up to the nest level and sure enough I could see a couple dead babies and no other movement in the nest.

So I got in there and pulled out the very stinky nest which was really wedged in the corner over the light and much thicker than I expected it to be!

When I hauled out the nest I was sad to see 5 dead babies! They were large and their wings were feathered so I would have expected them to be leaving the nest soon!

My roommate said he picked up a dead one off the side walk already only a few days prior so they had quite the full nest, 6 in total.

I am trying to figure out what could have caused the babies to die! I made sure the light was not turned on as to not over heat the nest or cause it to catch fire.

I stopped using the front door with the exception of the odd guest coming over or leaving. I was constantly seeing the parents with worms in their mouths nearby so they were doing a good job feeding them.

Could one baby have died and the smell caused the parents to not return to the nest?

The day after I removed the nest I saw what looked like the female sitting back where the nest used to be which broke my heart!

I know that at least one of the two parents are still around and they did not die leaving their babies behind. They were so close to leaving the nest!

I seems like these robins have had lots of bad luck over the years. We pick up 3-4 dead babies each year off the side walk or stairs but they have never been as developed as all the ones in this nest!

Is there anything I can do to help these guys out!
I was glad to read that they can nest more than once in a season so my fingers are crossed they still have a chance for a second go for raising some babies. (they have never set up more than one nest here before but maybe they will this year! Fingers crossed!).

From Wild-Bird-Watching.com


Robins usually don't use the same nest in the same season but will return to the same location the following Spring.

There are several things that could have cause the death of your baby birds. Mites can kill baby birds and are more problematic in wet Springs. Other parasites can cause problems also.

Other birds may be pulling young from the nest, which may be why you find them on the sidewalk. Crows, Grackles, and Bluejays are just a few birds that eat the young of other birds.

Putting something around the light will keep them from nesting there but they may not choose your nesting shelf. You just have to decide to take the chance.

Thank you for your story submission.

Gene
www.wild-bird-watching.com



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Wicker Table Robin Nest

by Sandee
(Sellersburg, IN, USA)

Luxury home for Robin

Luxury home for Robin

We swept away straw that she was building her first nest with but then she came back and started over so we didn't have the heart to destroy it because of her determination. We will watch as she raises her babies.

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People Watching

by Lori Pritchett
(Buffalo Grove, IL, USA)

Eddie looking through our patio door

Eddie looking through our patio door

Eddie looking through our patio door This robin is a people watcher!

We have been stalked for 5 or 6 days now by a Robin!

We think it is a male, so it doesn't appear to be about a nest. We live in an apt. next to a golf course, so we know why he is near...he enjoys pulling up worms on the course in the early morning.

But what is strange is that he lands on our deck and looks into our house. He acts as if he wants to come inside! He has a pattern of looking into our sliding glass door, then hopping onto a chair to look at us, then sitting on our deck railing. Sometimes he will repeat the pattern, or fly away.

My boyfriend named him Eddie. What does Eddie want from us? I love watching him watch us, except for the fact that he is pooping all over the place!
Yes...this is not bird watching...it is people watching! :)

PS: He is watching me as I type this!!!

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Peace Sign Robins

by John Ryan
(Warsaw NY )

Peace sign made from grape vines

Peace sign made from grape vines

Peace sign made from grape vines 4 eggs Babies getting ready to leave the nest soon.

I have had a peace sign made from grape vines on the side of my garage for years, which is lit with Christmas lights at night. In early June I had a pair of Robins flattening a side of the peace sign.

I thought they were just eating insects on it, so I pushed it back into more of a circle. They came back a few days later and flattened again and started building a nest. Soon we had 4 little blue eggs in the nest which I can look into from a six foot ladder.

Soon we had three baby birds, it appears one didn't make it. It will be 2 weeks tomorrow the first was born and they are flapping their wings often and being feed plenty of protein (big juicy worms and other insects) from both parents. I even have the Mother coming to my Oriole feeder eating the grape jelly.

Both parents are vigorously defending the nest and young from other birds and squirrels coming to close to them. They should be flying the nest here in a few more days. Good luck to them!



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