Hi everybody! I am so excited to see all my baby birds and fledglings! I am amazed at just how many different birds are raising their families in my yard! I also get to see lots of nestlings and fledglings when I go bird watching. If you read my “I am Going to Have Grand Feather Babies blog” or my Valentine post about mating birds, you learned that many birds will have more than one brood, or clutch (batches of babies basically). I am still seeing LOTS of courting and nesting behaviors going on in my yard alongside the parents raising their babies, such as male Chickadees and Mourning Doves are serenading the ladies. If you missed the posts, you could read them now to see how you can help the birds by providing nesting materials and safe spaces to build the nests.
As I was completing my eBird reports this week, I realized that almost every species had fledglings or feeding young as codes on the reports! You can see my reports by clicking link on Robin’s Nest page. Recently, I have seen Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Gray Catbirds, Chipping Sparrows, European Starlings, and American Robins feeding their babies. (See TikTok and Instagram for videos.) I was also privileged to see a mom and dad Great Blue Heron working together to feed their babies at Fannie Stebbins in Longmeadow-SO sweet! (Check Longmeadow page.) I have Chickadee, Titmice, Catbird, House Finch, Robin, Cardinal, Blue Jay, Carolina Wren, and White-breasted Nuthatch fledglings coming to my feeders now. And these are just the ones that I am seeing in my yard! Imagine how many more there are in our local area!
I have to say though, that I am fascinated with my Eastern Bluebird couple and their babies. If you read my Bluebird blog, you know that I have NEVER had Bluebirds nesting in my yard before (that I could find anyway). This couple has been with me since the winter. They are the only 2 blues I ever have. They usually leave me in the spring to breed. This year, I was careful to keep a ready supply of mealworms available and spoke to them every time they came to my deck. They started coming when I called them! Then, I saw them investigating an old bird house that House Sparrows had just vacated. One morning, I saw feathers on the ground and the blues were gone. I thought that was it. But I totally cleaned out the old house and set up a new house too. And they came back!
I am beside myself with joy. They chose the old house that I tacked some fishing line to as it scares of House Sparrows. The pair spent 2 weeks or so flying in an out of the house. Now, I see mom and dad carrying the mealworms in. Yesterday, I heard the babies and my heart melted. My blues are very diligent. They are almost always either feeding the babies or standing guard in the nearby tree or on my shepherd’s hooks near their babies’ house. They swoop down on any bird or squirrel that gets close. They are even protective of the mealworm feeder now. I would love to open the house to see them and share a picture with you, but I don’t want to stress mom and dad out any more than they are. I am working on trying to get audio to post LOL. Hopefully, you will see my Bluebird Fledglings soon!
You can look around your yard and see the different nests that the different birds make. They work incredibly hard placing each twig or blade of grass etc. (Except for Mourning Doves LOL. They are kind of lackadaisical.) It really is best not to disturb nesting families and only look from a distance. If you are worried about a baby bird that has possibly fallen out of its nest, look at the baby carefully. Some people use the “ugly test”. I think all birds are beautiful, but beauty IS in the eye of the beholder as they say. Nestlings don’t have many feathers at all and cannot really hop or flit around. Fledglings have some feathers and can jump and fly a tiny bit. Fledglings are certainly at risk, but likely will hop right out again if you try to place them back in the nest. In most cases, it is best to leave a fledgling alone, unless they are in a road etc. If you see the nest a nestling fell out of, you can put it back. In either case, it is likely that mom and dad are watching you and their baby from somewhere nearby. They are probably feeding and taking care of the baby. If you see a totally helpless, abandoned nestling, take it to a rehabber.
I am posting this second reminder for those who missed the first blog. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act states that you should not move/bother/destroy any native species’ nests. This basically means all birds except House Sparrows and European Starlings. There is also an unwritten rule that you stay a good distance from nesting birds. Parents are stressed enough and work hard enough to protect their nest without worrying about us gawking humans. Please read my previous blogs to learn more about the different birds and nests and see more baby pics and hear bird sounds! I also recently posted photos of Mute Swan and Great Blue Heron families and more. AGAIN, I appreciate you sharing my sites more than you know. You can also see my birds on my Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Instagram pages too. See the Contact Me page for info. Take care, Robin😊