Creating a wildlife haven one plant at a time

Friday, April 20, 2012

We have babies and eggs!

Earlier this week I noticed a mockingbird flying in and out of the rose bushes on a pretty regular basis. I thought it was building a nest but this morning I heard a loud racket coming from the bushes that sounded like baby chicks squealing with hunger. Of course I had to take a peak.


These were challenging pictures to take. The roses are on a steep hill and I had to reach them from the top of the hill without slipping while moving the thorny branches out of the way with one hand and holding the camera and clicking with the other. I was mindful not to disturb the nest and watch for mom and dad. I didn't want them to attack trying to protect their nest if they felt I was a threat.



The babies are big already. Mockingbird babies will leave the nest as soon as 12 days after hatching. They usually seek shelter in low lying shrubs until they can fly. The parents will continue to feed and protect them during this time. Mama bird was waiting patiently in the cherry tree with a mouth full of food (looks like a dragon fly or a mayfly) ready to feed her chicks.



Just in front of the orchard we posted two birdhouses made by my father-in-law for two of our boys (notice the inscription). The bluebirds built a nest in the house on the right. I was so excited since this is the first time bluebirds have nested in our garden. Unfortunately, when I checked the nest this morning I found that the baby birds were all dead. I am not sure why the nest failed.

Later in the day the bluebirds were back, both mama and papa bird.


 They were busy cleaning their house all day. Going in...


 ...and out


When I checked the nest this afternoon the nest was clean. They seem to be ready to try again. I hope they have better luck this time.


In the house on the left fence post is a nest with five eggs! And, now I know where all my moss went...


The birds fly in and out so quickly I am having trouble deciphering them. They look like the eggs of a Tufted Titmouse or White-breasted Nuthatch but could also be a Carolina Wren (help, anyone?). I have all three of these birds in my garden.

14 comments:

  1. Very nice information and some great photos. The Bluebirds are certainly a beautiful blue and are such lovely little birds. Has to be wonderful watching them.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. Bluebirds are so intense they just pop in the landscape. And, blue is my favorite color!

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  2. Oh...how adorable! I love seeing this...thanks for sharing! I have identified a few nests in and around the yard and garden, and I am watching them with awe. The eggs you cannot identify...it is hard...all of those eggs look so similar. I know tufted titmice like to build nests in cavities and use moss...but perhaps the others sometimes use moss as well?

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  3. The eggs appear to be Carolina Chickadees'. They use moss almost exclusively in the construction of their nests.

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    1. Thank you! I caught a glimpse of the bird after I posted and saw a black cap and bib which fits with your conclusions. Chickadees are so adorable.

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  4. Aww, what cute babies! We have lots of birds in my yard with the bird feeders, but I don't think my garden is built up enough to have a good protective site for nesting yet.

    That is too bad about the dead baby bluebirds. That is strange, as I'd assume that if it was the work of a predator, it would have eaten them. I hope your other little eggs fare better - it will be so cute to see little fledglings around the yard, I'm sure!

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  5. Oh, I know how protective Mokingbirds can be! Love the Bluebirds.

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  6. That bluebird is so pretty, and those baby mockingbirds are so adorable! How nice that your father-in-law made the bird houses for your children. I hope the blue birds have a healthy set of chicks next time.

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  7. Really nice captures of the babies and mommas. I really wish I would see bluebirds around here. The bluebirds look like they posed for you. They are so pretty and such a vibrant blue. The photo of the eggs is really a good catch too. I never get up to see the birds in the nests, being afraid to disturb them. I guess sometime I should give it a try.

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  8. I had a nest of wrens last year that failed, too. I'm not sure why. My nesting bluebirds have been impossible to photograph. They fly away as soon as we go in the backyard. Lucky you to have such great photos!

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  9. You have really captured those beautiful bluebirds. I hope their second effort is successful.

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  10. How how special is this..I would love to have any of these guys nesting in my yard...it is so hard for the birds to compete her with the starlings and house sparrows..you are lucky..Michelle

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  11. congrats on all the wonderful nests and soon to be hatchlings...the birds want to nest but each time it turns cold they abandon the idea...I hope soon they will start nesting...lots of birds have not even migrated up...snow flying this week.

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"Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers. Plant your own garden and decorate your soul"

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