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Old 07-06-2013, 07:37 AM   #1
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


At the corner of my deck overhang, there was a piece of dried grass hanging out. I grabbed it to pull it down and realized that there was a bird nest in there. Thinking that it was an old abandoned nest since I hadn't seen any birds going back and forth, I pulled it out and noticed that there were baby birds inside.

Oops! I quickly put it back in place, popped off two pictures, and immediately left the back yard. We've been keeping a watch out of the window, and the mother bird has been back to the nest twice since then. How likely is the mother bird to continue caring for the babies? What are the chances that she'll abandon them now that I have disturbed the nest?

Here's the corner after I put the nest back in place. The nest is behind the pole. When I found it, there was only one small piece of grass visible.


I've been reading on how to care for them in the event that the mother abandons them. Here's one of the links that I found.
http://www.wikihow.com/Care-for-Newborn-Birds
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:49 AM   #2
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


Those are some little babies, I've raised a few birds in my younger years but never from that small. She will likely keep taking care of them. They'll abandon eggs a lot easier than they will babies so she'll probably keep coming back, the fact that she has a couple times already is a good sign.

I'm super interested in your deck and deck framework, looks to be steel? Is this correct? If so how long has it been there? Any ill effects? We've been doing steel frames for decks for a number of years but I usually don't see other steel framed decks.

Thanks

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Old 07-06-2013, 08:08 AM   #3
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


Ahh, I missed the word OVERHANG on the original post... Still a little unusual to see that kind of cover built with steel framing, I guess the same questions still apply.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


I have heard that the notion of a bird (or any animal) not returning to their young after a human contacts them is false. Probably a generations old scare tactic used by adults to keep curious kids from disturbing them. After awhile it became accepted as fact.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:18 AM   #5
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


Quote:
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I have heard that the notion of a bird (or any animal) not returning to their young after a human contacts them is false. Probably a generations old scare tactic used by adults to keep curious kids from disturbing them. After awhile it became accepted as fact.
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Originally Posted by robertcdf View Post
Those are some little babies, I've raised a few birds in my younger years but never from that small. She will likely keep taking care of them. They'll abandon eggs a lot easier than they will babies so she'll probably keep coming back, the fact that she has a couple times already is a good sign.
Good to know. I'll keep an eye on them and see if she continues to return. Thanks for the information.




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Originally Posted by robertcdf View Post
I'm super interested in your deck and deck framework, looks to be steel? Is this correct? If so how long has it been there? Any ill effects? We've been doing steel frames for decks for a number of years but I usually don't see other steel framed decks.

Thanks
The deck is wood. The overhang is metal. It was here when I got the house in November '12. I don't know how long it has been in place. I've only ever seen steel framed decks as the 2nd story. Never on ground.
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:53 AM   #6
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


There is a bird nest above our front porch, a while back the wind blew the nest down with little birds in it. I picked the nest up and put it back and screwed a small board in place to hold the nest, we put the little ones back and the mama came back and raised them.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


Quote:
Originally Posted by PoleCat View Post
I have heard that the notion of a bird (or any animal) not returning to their young after a human contacts them is false. Probably a generations old scare tactic used by adults to keep curious kids from disturbing them. After awhile it became accepted as fact.

true
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:01 PM   #8
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


Funny I stumbled upon this thread...our nephew was over last night and was out playing with the kids. He came in and told us he found a nest on our porch and he was holding a baby bird. We had him put it back immediately of course.

We have 2 nests on our porch columns (barn swallows I think...tiny nests, mostly made of mud). They come back every year and the kids love to watch them. I've been watching and so far the mother has been back to feed the babies several times. So that's another vote on the old wives' tale I guess.

We usually end up with 6-8 baby birds hopping around the porch by mid to late July. It's pretty cute, as our blue heeler will sit and watch them (even lets them hop all over her), and growls at neighborhood cats to keep them away. I guess as long as they're on 'her' porch they are 'her' babies.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:47 PM   #9
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


Good news. We were doing work in the back most of the day today. She was constantly going back and forth to the nest to feed them. If we were too close, she would let us know by hopping around on top of the overhang until we got far enough away. When the birds get old enough to leave the nest, we both agreed to stay out of the back yard for as long as they need. My guess is that they are finches.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:29 AM   #10
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


One tip I have found that works is put the nest in the high end of a gutter. I am working on bird nest mounts that screw onto houses and gutters as too not disturb the birds if they are moved. Moma will stay with the birds even if the nest falls to the ground.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:55 PM   #11
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/house_finch/id
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:59 PM   #12
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


Birds do some weird stuff, but as others have said, the mother will probably keep coming back.

My ex wife raised a sparrow that still had eggshells on it when it was found. It lived to be roughly 13 years old which is a ridiculously long time. When it got its feathers, it went from having little lines on its skin that looked like tattoos to having full feathers in just a few days...remarkable.

Sometimes when a bird is out of the nest, its mother will still feed it on the ground and try to hide it by making it hop under a bush or other structure.

Another cool fact is the mother of some types of birds cleans out the nest and carries the poop in her mouth to a further away place from the nest and drops it. This way predators can't look for a big pile of poop and find the nest.

To me, anything that carries poop in her mouth to protect her family seems like the very definition of love, and also gross.

Last edited by oldhouseguy; 07-07-2013 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:18 PM   #13
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


Today, I was taking a break on the deck. I wasn't more than 10ft from the nest, and was sitting in a chair. I saw the mother fly up and land in the yard.

She knew I was there, and was waiting for me to leave. I sat completely still. Didn't move, and didn't make a sound. She flew right in front of me, and up to the nest. I continued sitting there for another 30-45mins while she did this. She didn't seem bothered that I was there, but I also was playing statue. She was going out to catch an insect, and then bring it back to feed the babies.

I may mount a camera nearby, but out of the way. Then try to zoom in on the nest to get some video if possible.
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:01 PM   #14
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


If the mother comes back a second time, she will continue to come back until the chicks have fledged (have feathers and can fly).

I feed a lot of birds (10+ feeders) and observe them constantly, but the birds have nests in trees and brush nearby so I do not see the details. I end up seeing a lot of the young at my feeders (introduced to them by parents) and often have some the perch on a 4-legged shepherds hook and slide down get caught at the junction. Early in the year is prime time for bird learning. I go out and gently get them out (fly away or to patio). If they are traumatized, just leave them the wake up and recover for up to 30 minutes and they just fly away. - The same thing for the birds that try to fly though a clean slider or window with no screen and they drop down and come aware. - Touching does not do the same things as is does to 4-legged critters. Just yesterday, a young woodpecker was on the shepherds hook and slid down headfirst before attacking the peanut suet and as the wings fluttered and I extracted it on the patio. A parent stood by for about 30 minutes as it recovered from the shock.

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Old 07-08-2013, 09:12 PM   #15
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Whoops! I disturbed a bird nest


Birds will learn your face. I was building a place that had a bird feeder. The slightest movement and the birds would take off. As I finished trimming the house a year later I could crawl right under them and nail stuff with a framer and they would not move. I found it amazing I could build that type of relationship with wild birds

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