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Wild Bird Watching, Issue #006 -- Robin Video Is Up
July 29, 2009


As all of the cam watchers know, our nest of three Robins finished fledging on July 6, 2009. The youngest took off three times before he/she left for good. Not a big deal unless you're trying to record the event.

Finally, #3 (as we in the chat room named the last one) did leave. I was able to record the event and now it is available on the website. As a matter of fact, there are seven (7) videos for you to watch.

There was so much recording to go through. I hope I was able to give you a little bit of the feel everyone had watching the Robin nesting cam. I also tried to keep each video short. No one wants to watch four minutes of egg incubation.

Again, thanks to those who joined in the chats, there were a few new people. A special thanks to acura (chat name) a very special teacher. She was able to get permission for her third grade class to come in during summer vacation to watch a portion of the live cam.

We need more teachers like this. Let's get our young people into nature if we can. Begin with your own children and grandchildren. I know many of our chat friends were doing just that.

So, for a replay of the second Robin cam check this link out:

Robin Replay #2

The link is also available from the navigational bar on the left hand side of the website. It's labeled Robin Nest #2


Moving Nest

I've been getting a number of emails regarding the moving of wild bird nest.

We all know that some birds such as Robins, Mourning Doves, Carolina Wrens, and a few others nest in some strange places. For the most part it's just amusing and maybe brings them closer for easier viewing.

So why would someone want to move the nest?

Well, there are people who have legitimate reasons. Take the woman who explained that she and her husband were selling the house and Doves had nested on the front door wreath.

Or the writer who had schedule siding work or roofing or serious landscaping work to begin when suddenly a nest was noticed.

First, hats off to the individuals who decided to ask whether they should move a nest or not. And what effect it might have on the nesting birds.

Can You Safely Move A Nest

Each time I get the question I'm required to inform them that, unless it's a House Sparrow, European Starling, or Pigeon it's illegal to remove the active nest.

That being said, what would happen if we did move the birds nest?

Most of our backyard birds interpret this action as a predator attack. If a nest is being built or eggs have been laid, it's likely they'll abandon the effort and move on.

Nest with young in them may or may not be abandon, but are you sure you want to take the risk. Frightening the adults for a few hours may spell disaster for the nestlings. Hunger, dehydration, cold or excessive heat will stress nestlings and even cause death.


Since it's illegal and for the most part a futile effort. The best thing to do is try to work around it if you can.

The couple selling the house told the Realtor to use the back door and hoped buyers would find it endearing.

Siding, landscaping, and roofing contractors were rescheduled.

Here's hoping you never have the problem.


American Goldfinches

While most of our backyard birds are finishing up with nesting, the American Goldfinch is just beginning.

The female builds a nest that's so tightly woven that it can hold water. She'll spend almost no time off the nest during incubation. The male will feed her while she's on the nest.

For a full species account be sure to visit:

American Goldfinch

And don't forget, now is the time to bring out the nyjer seed for these golden beauties to eat. I've just filled my own thistle/nyjer feeders and the Goldfinches are coming around.

You can check out some feeders for Goldfinches here:

Thistle Feeders


Purple Martins

For those of you keeping track and who are interested in Purple Martins, my six (6) nestlings have fledged. They continued to come back at night for about ten days which is pretty normal if there are no predators around such as hawks and owls.

I was able to get about 30 seconds of video of one of the young peeking out of the gourd. The video was taken just a few days before they fledged. You can watch it at the bottom of the Purple Martin page:

Purple Martins

Maybe next season we'll get a cam in one of the gourds. I'm hopeful I'll get more than one pair next year if things go well during both migrations. They'll be leaving for Brazil in another month.


Bird Seed Near Nest

I read and approve or not, visitor submitted stories on the website. For a list of topics you can check out this page.

Visitors Stories

While reading a story or comment, I don't remember which. I came across someone mentioning that they had a Dove nesting in a hanging plant on their porch.

While this is a common nesting place for many Doves, it bothered me that the individual said that she had placed bird seed and water on the porch for the Dove.

Not a good idea, predators also will eat bird seed. Grackles, Blue Jays, and others will be attracted to the seed and water provided for the Doves. These predators will have a better chance of seeing the nest, eggs, and young of the Doves.

Let's give the birds some credit. They've made it this far without having food and water a few feet away at all times and I'm sure they'll find it in the backyard also.

The male and female dove switch places during incubation in order for each to have time to feed. Making sure they're protected from predators while drinking or eating is the best thing you can do.

Sure, go ahead and provide seed and water. Just don't put it so close to the nest. To tell you the truth, I've never been able to hide it from them.

And if you're looking for the perfect birdbath why not check these out:


You'll be helping the birds and supporting the website.


Motivation Time

Last time I mentioned a simple platform feeder I threw together. Filled it with safflower seed and watched as the Doves and House Finches started visiting.

Take a look at a little video I shot of a Mourning Dove feeding in this simple feeder. Scroll towards the bottom of the page:


I just built a frame using 2 x 2's. I staple screening to the bottom of the 2 x 2 frame so that it drains well. You can then attach a chain or nylon cord in order to hang the feeder. You can also get creative and attach it to your deck railing.

This month I want to encourage you to provide some food for the summer birds. Try something new like a thistle sock or suet cake.

For many of you this may be the first time you've ever fed birds during summer. Try it out, you may surprise yourself.


Until next time, Happy Birding,

Gene Planker

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