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Should I check on the babies in my birdhouse?


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#1 Lisa M.

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:14 PM

On April 13, I noticed a chickadee going in and out of birdhouse that was hanging from a tree in my front yard. I also heard babies -something I hadn't heard before - so I figured they had just hatched. Today I noticed some dark feathers coming out of a small drainage hole at the bottom of the birdhouse. It's a small hole, but I'm worried that a baby might be stuck. Should I check to see if everything is okay in there? The parents are still going in and out and I still hear the babies. I'm just not sure why there are feathers coming out of that hole. I'm also worried that if I open the door, the babies might be big enough to hop out. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

#2 fisherman1313

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 07:49 PM

The feathers you see sticking out through the drain hole are most likely part of the nest, many bird species line their nests with feathers for insulation. You can probably check the nest, though, without bothering the birds too much. The parents will just wait for you to leave and then resume feeding the chicks. And if any of the chicks should happen to hop out while you're doing your inspection, just pick them up and put them back. If you're worried about the parents abandonong the nest because they can smell your scent on the chicks, don't be. Most birds have a very weak sense of smell and the idea that a bird will abandon it's nest because it can smell a human is a myth.

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#3 creeker

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:24 PM

It's probably best just to leave it alone.
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#4 JimBob

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:18 PM

I agree with creeker. I once checked on a mourning dove nest and when I did all the babies (ready to) fledged!

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#5 Lisa M.

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:55 PM

Thank you to those who responded. Upon closer inspection, and without disturbing the babies, I noticed that what was coming out of the hole was some fur and a few feathers (obviously nesting material). I guess I'm feeling a bit overprotective. I never thought something would take up residence in that house since it has remained empty since I got it about two years ago. I'm used to having birds nest in my yard but not in a birdhouse. Now I will have to wait and worry until they all leave the nest. :rolleyes:

If anyone can give me some advice on when and how I should clean the birdhouse once it is empty (will they want to use it again right away?) I would appreciate that as well.

#6 fisherman1313

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:40 AM

Here are a couple of links you may find useful.

http://www.sialis.org/clean.htm

http://www.ehow.com/...nest-boxes.html

The sludge caught in the mind's filter, the stuff that refuses to go through, frequently becomes each person's private obsession. In civilized society we have an unspoken agreement to call our obsessions "hobbies". - Stephen King

 

All Yellow Warblers are yellow warblers, but not all yellow warblers are Yellow Warblers. - Me

 

My Year List

Spoiler

 

Latest Lifer(s):

Sooty Grouse, Great Gray Owl: Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County, CA, 8/18/14

Calliope Hummingbird, Evening Grosbeak: Niagara Creek Campgrounds, Tuolumne County, CA 8/4/14

Northern Goshawk: Eagle Meadow, Tuolumne County, CA, 8/4

Pine Grosbeak: Plasse's Resort, Amador County, CA, 7/27/14

Northern Pygmy Owl (FINALLY!): Del Puerto Canyon, Stanislaus County, CA, 3/24/14

 

Favorite Recent Birds (non-lifers):

Short-billed Dowitcher: Ceres Wastewater Treatment Facility, Cere, CA, 8/20/14

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County, CA, 8/18/14

Peregrine Falcon, Black Tern, Bank Swallow: Modesto Wastewater treatment Facility, Modesto, CA, 8/10/14

Mountain Quail: Hwy 108 at Cow Creek, Tulomne County, CA, 8/4/14

Prairie Falcon, Pileated Woodpecker (5), Pygmy Nuthatch: Plasse's Resort, Amador County, CA, 7/27/14

Western Screech-Owl: Enslen Park, Modesto, CA, 4/16/14, 7/2/14, 7/6/14


#7 EyesOnTheSky

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:55 PM

When I was about 14 I wanted to look into a Robins nest that had been built in our garage. It was too high for me to see in so I got a hand-held mirror and held it above the nest so I could see down into it. To my horror all the chicks popped straight up like a f'ing jack-n-the-box and most of them ended up on the ground. I ran inside to see if anyone could help me but when I came back all the chicks were gone. Not sure whatever happened to them.

I'm still mortified.

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