Spring babies

Monday, May 11, 2009


The last couple of years we have had Starlings nest in our bathroom vent. Each year we say we will make sure it doesn't happen again, but then we forget until there is a new nest. We don't have the heart to do anything after they nest, so we just wait. We have never seen any of the chicks, since they 9 feet up and way in.
This year we had an unfortunate event, on Thursday, I went out to mow the lawn and found 4 baby birds had fallen out of the nest dropping nine feet to their death. They still had their feathers in quills instead of downy feathers like this picture. We were relieved to see the mother had not lost all her babies, as she still came and went from the nest with food and we could could hear the babies from time to time.

Then today, our dog began to act weird (okay she is always doing that, but this was different). I could tell she was suddenly interested in something on the ground near the nest. So I jumped up to see another baby had fallen 9 feet (see the picture above) . It was still moving, but it looked as though it would die soon. I have watched this bird most of the day and the mother has faithful come with worm in beak. At first she had to peck at the baby to get it to eat, but as time went on it seemed to gain his appetite.
At one point the baby was moved about a foot to an area with some taller grass for it to hide in. I am not sure how that happened. Whether the mother moved the baby along or it got up on its own. All I know is that it has not left its secluded haven the rest of the day.
Our worst fear is, that it will not make it through the night. With no way to protect its self, from cats and other animals. In fact this evening, our dog alerted us that our cat was outside sniffing the bird. We got there in time and no harm was done, but minutes later the cat found herself back outside and then quickly ran to the backyard to explore the bird. This time Anna caught the cat just in time. The cat is now safely in the garage until bedtime. We can't stop the other cats from attacking, but we can sure try to stop ours.

It is very interesting to watch the mother bird approach her young. She is very careful to watch for any signs of danger. If she senses something she quickly moves away to another part of the yard, constantly looking around until she feels it is clear. It really is a rather touching thing to watch.

Starling facts here at this site. Cute blue eggs, too bad I didn't get to see them
http://www.bto.org/nnbw/nesting_birds/starling.htm
http://www.starlingtalk.com/babycare.htm
Great, I just learned from the second website that, if they have feathers, they should learn to fly in a couple of days, meanwhile the parents will still care for them even on the ground. (our bird seems to only have a single parent). I am not sure the fuzz is enough to fly with, but we will just assume that if it is missing, that if flew away instead of the other options. Additionally, this baby is alot more developed than the ones that feel out of the nest on Thursday. Amazing what five days can do to a baby bird.
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2 comments:

Amanda May 12, 2009 at 3:12 PM  

Hope the baby is all ok. What a fun adventure for your family to get to watch!

Alli May 14, 2009 at 5:25 PM  

Wow, a lot of birdie drama over there!

Dang - looks like I missed the deal on strawberries :(