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Nest Intervention


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#1 DaveT

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:53 PM

I've been taking photos of a Dark-eyed Junco nest that was built in my yard. Got some pretty cool photos so far, from gathering of straw for the nest, up through 4 eggs in the nest (all of which have now hatched), and got some today of feeding time. Hope to continue until they leave the nest.

https://picasaweb.go...feat=directlink

However the nest is about a foot from the foundation, and there are no gutters in that area. So when is human intervention OK? The day before the first eggs hatched, there were severe thunderstorms and strong winds into the direction of the nest. So I put up a sheet of plywood against the house to shield the nest. The nest would have been drenched inside if not for that. I was also afraid that the water might build up near the nest so was prepared to elevate it a couple inches if necessary, but didn't have to. Also, about 2:00 pm on sunny days, the sun is beating down on the nest. The mother looked distressed on one of those sunny days (about 92 degrees) before the eggs were hatched. So on hot sunny days I have again used the plywood. I think I did the right thing during the storms, but don't know if it's necessary on hot days. Opinions?

Note that when taking close-up photos of the nest with the babies, I have done so only when the mother leaves the nest to find food. I'm in the mountains of NH, so also worry about predators since there are bobcats, fishers, and coyotes around (although I have not seen coyotes recently).

Thanks.

#2 zoutedrop

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 11:30 PM

It would be a tough sell for someone to disagree with what you did. Don't know how it is any different than building a nest box which supplies both shade and a barrier against weather. You may want to join nestwatch.org as it provides excellent data for Cornell and helps guide your activities. Nice series of shots.

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#3 spyonabird

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:02 PM

I probably would have done the same thing. Everyone has their own demons, but my personal feelings are that as long as I do not not touch or disturb the nest, my conscience is clean. I have seen pics of nestboxes with umbrellas placed over them to give them shade in this hot weather. I would never move a nest, to me that is crossing the line. The Junco chose that spot so who am I to disagree. I put up nestboxes and have participated in the Cornell Nestwatch program. I recommend it too.
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#4 cwj2323

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:50 PM

Yep, I would have done that especially for Juncos. They are my winter favorite.

My husband built a platform thing because of the Barn Swallows falling out of the nest. We kept putting them back in, but it was getting nuts. They also have a perching spot which we are guessing the first hatched is now using. But because of the nest on this old house and a couple times of forgetting to wash hands we're dealing with bird mites inside. My husband will not allow any more nests on the house in future years. (We'll attempt dividers in the shed so more Barn Swallows can nest there) We are waiting for them to leave the nest in about two to four days, then we'll immediately remove the nest and hopefully this will take care of the problem.

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#5 creeker

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 04:30 PM

Yep, I would have done that especially for Juncos. They are my winter favorite.

My husband built a platform thing because of the Barn Swallows falling out of the nest. We kept putting them back in, but it was getting nuts. They also have a perching spot which we are guessing the first hatched is now using. But because of the nest on this old house and a couple times of forgetting to wash hands we're dealing with bird mites inside. My husband will not allow any more nests on the house in future years. (We'll attempt dividers in the shed so more Barn Swallows can nest there) We are waiting for them to leave the nest in about two to four days, then we'll immediately remove the nest and hopefully this will take care of the problem.


Bird mites in the house? I've rehabbed a bunch of birds that had lice and mites. Never saw any leave the bird and never found any in the house. The parasites are very specific to feathered creatures.
By the way, I don't have any problem with moving a nest to benefit the birds. It's the people that take eggs out just to take pics that gets my goat. :angry:
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#6 sailormom64

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 02:55 AM

Lovely pictures! I am one of the ones who put up an umbrella over a nestbox for bluebirds, and when chipping sparrows built a nest in a vine that was on a very shaky trellis, I put some stakes in the ground to make sure the trellis stayed put when we had storms headed our way, otherwise the eggs would not have stayed in the nest during the storm, based on the way the trellis swayed in just a gentle breeze. I think if you offer some help there isn't anything wrong with that!

#7 JimBob

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:20 PM

Really like your series of pictures!

I had a cardinal nesting in my yard earlier this year, when the thunderstorms are at there worst. Some of the storms I got really worried about the nest, but when I checked it wasn't getting that wet. It was tucked under a thick branch of evergreen needles. (not sure what kind, and they're needles all right! really pokey)

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