Advice/Support fledge day and I will lose sleep tonight for sure

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  • #2401
    Lyndsey D.
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
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    Forgive me for the length of this post. I’ll start by saying that the first 5 fledglings this Spring flourished and had a flawless fledge day. I continue to see them daily. The second brood fledge day has not been even close to the same experience as the first. 4 of the second brood of EABL babies fledged today and it has been a rough day for these babies. It started at 8 this morning with the first fledgling. He/she just couldn’t seem to get high off the ground. It first made an attempt straight out of the Nestbox to go towards our porch on our shop(metal building) in my backyard not very far from the Nestbox. It did not make it so it landed on a table, it then tried to fly to a small nearby tree without success and ended up under the tree, it then managed to get on my neighbor’s fence for a short time. The parents relentlessly called this fledgling but it never did seem to get high enough. I could gauge where it was by the location of the parents and by 4:30 this afternoon it was still grounded in a neighbor’s garden. About that time a Cooper’s hawk showed up too close for comfort. When the hawk left the area I made a decision to try to flush it back towards my house and the Nestbox where I have several small to medium sized trees. That seemed to help because shortly after that I saw it fly to a couple of trees and the first brood fledglings were flying with it, almost as if they were trying to teach it how to fly. In the midst of all of that commotion around 7pm the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of 5 babies fledged the box. The 2nd one flew much better than the first and was in a large tree within 5 minutes. The 3rd fledgling was so so at flying but seemed to get the hang of it quickly and made it to the woods near the 1st and 2nd one(I think). The 4th baby fledged right before dark and flew toward our shop but missed the top and fluttered to the ground. The parents immediately flew to meet it but were then distracted by keeping the 5th one in the box. They tried to get the 4th one up to them on the highline but it was getting dark. About that time it lifted off of the ground and tried to get on top of the shop once again but missed and ended up grabbing onto the side trim. It called for the parents and they tried before dark to get it to fly again but parents left for the night and the poor thing is still hanging onto the side of our metal building! My heart is breaking for these babies today. Does anyone think this baby can hang there until the morning!? It doesn’t seem stressed but definitely doesn’t look comfortable. I guess I just needed to vent to people that share the passion I have for EABLs. I just want to stay up all night and make sure it’s okay. I know I should just have the viewpoint that this is nature and it’s out of my control, but I just can’t seem to stop worrying. I feel so helpless for these babies and the parents. I just don’t understand what the difference is between this brood and the first. I feel like it may be my fault because there is one difference; they accepted the live wax worms for the second brood but not the first. Although, I did exactly as Sialis suggested and offered 15/day/bird (so they still had to hunt food naturally) and dusted them with glider-cal calcium supplement even though they have a high calcium content naturally. I know this may sound funny when it is read, but could the wax worms have made them too fat to fly well?

    #2403
    Love my blues!
    Participant
    • Topics started 9
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    Hi Lyndsey-

    I haven”t fed wax worms to EABL nestlings,so I can’t speak to that(do offer mealworms). The only thing I can tell you is that the parents will come back to that baby in the morning. I had two that couldn’t take flight last year upon fledging & the parents came back & fed them all day long. My concern was that mine couldn’t get off the ground, which made them vulnerable to predators. It sounds like at least yours are off the ground. Hopefully, that little one can get in a comfortable position for the night.

    Nicole

    #2404
    Lyndsey D.
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
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    • Total Posts 17

    Well the baby that was hanging on the side of the building made it through the night and flew off this morning to the roof of my house then tried to land a tree and missed. It’s now near my neighbor’s backyard which they will be letting their dogs out any minute. Anyway, I’m hoping for the best. :(

    #2408
    Donna in WI
    Participant
    • Topics started 6
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    Feeding waxworms would not have an effect on whether or not the young could fly. Do you know how old (from hatching) this second brood was? What about the first one, what day did they fledge on. Just one extra day in the box can make the difference between a flyer and a non flyer.

    Hope the neighbors dog didn’t get that one that flew over there!

    Donna in WI

    #2409
    Lyndsey D.
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
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    Donna,
    That does make me feel better, thank you. The first brood fledged on day 16, and the second brood fledged on day 16 & 17. It could have had to do with the direction in which they fledged the box. The first brood flew straight out and the second brood fledglings all flew to the right. The one on the fence did make it off of the fence and eventually flew to some brush in the back near the woods. I have been so worried about these babies.

    #2412
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
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    • Topics started 56
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    Nature has a way of caring for the young ones. If this one has made it to the brush and can hold out there until its wings strengthen a bit it will be okay. The parents (and it sounds like the siblings) will take care of it.

    Be concerned but try not to get overwrought. You can only provide the nestbox and mealworms(if you do feed). Everything else is part of Nature’s path. Be happy for the fledglings that they have made it this far. Time is on their side.

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #2420
    Lyndsey D.
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
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    Thanks David I have calmed down a bit, lol. I know that I have done everything I can do and I do feel better now that the parents don’t seem to be upset anymore. (It’s difficult to not humanize their feelings.) I do see the parents actively feeding the babies very high up in the pine woods behind my house and the neighbor’s house. I’ve for sure seen them fly to 4 locations and there could possibly be a fifth location so they get out of sight frequently. I feel much better today than I did yesterday. Thanks to everyone for the support.

    #2423
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
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    All of this Lyndsey, sounds pretty normal, Ecery brood and nesting is different than the last. If for some reason you think hey fledged a little too early check the box for mites, wasps etc. nut really your situation sounds perfectly normal. They are awkward @ landing wh they fledge. You’re doing a good job….and that’s all you can do.

    Tammy

    #2429
    Lyndsey D.
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
    • Replies 14
    • Total Posts 17

    Tammy,

    Thank you for the support & thoughts. I am new to this and had such a flawless experience with the first brood and knew it would likely not be like this the second go round. The nest for this brood was remarkably clean compared to the first brood and no parasites or pests were visible when I cleaned the Nestbox out after the last fledgling left….. I really did need to hear that this behavior was normal. I also would like to know if it’s normal that the mother has already started building her 3rd nest just two days after all babies have fledged!? The second nest was started two weeks after fledge day, but this morning I observed the mother going into the second Nestbox location in my yard with straw every time she leaves the pine trees from feeding the new fledglings.

    #2440
    David in Stafford,VADavid in Stafford,VA
    Participant
    • Topics started 56
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    Lyndsy, this is normal. The BB may start a nest anytime after the young have fledged. It all depends on how ready they are to start a new brood. Don’t expect this on every nesting. Mine have usually been 4 days – 5 weeks.

    Happy Birding

    David

    David
    Stafford, VA

    #2444
    Lyndsey D.
    Participant
    • Topics started 3
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    • Total Posts 17

    David,

    Thanks for the response! I am fascinated by these devoted birds. Happy birding to you as well!

    #2469
    tamsea
    Moderator
    • Topics started 26
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    • Total Posts 725

    They like to keep us guessing!

    Tammy

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