May 28, 2020 at 8:32 pm #8278Rich KParticipant
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Well, today was Fledging day! You may recall I have had a nerve wracking time due to the severe cold spell we had just before hatching time. I was convinced that at least some of the 5 eggs would be lost. But these are perhaps the best parents I have ever had. Not only did they know exactly when I was putting meal worms out for them, but they were extremely tolerant and Papa even landed on my wrist one day to snag meal worms from the container before I could put them in the feeder. However, the past three days they have been really vocal with me and I wasn’t even close to the box and definitely not checking at as I knew it was at the 18 day point from hatching. Well, at 5 pm today what I was sure was the last of the chicks left the nest. I actually got to witness him fly (It was a boy because of all the blue on him). Unfortunately he pulled an Amelia Earhardt and crash landed in the grass. I was nervous because there are Grackles and Crows hanging around. I watched him for a bit and then he started to get in trouble when we was attempting to squeeze through the fence! Fearing he would get stuck I intervened (this is about the third time in my life I have ever intervened with any bird chicks etc.). I gently scooped him up (much to Momma’s protest!) and guided him towards the big bush near the box. He gently hopped into the bush and safely undercover. We went out for a couple of hours and upon my return I decided to see if all the chicks had flown the coop. I fully expected to find at least one egg unhatched. Low and behold the nest was empty!! No unhatched eggs. All FIVE babies GONE!! I can hear them across the street in the tall Maple trees and I can see Mom and Dad on the wires. I am amazed that all five eggs hatched and the nestlings survived to fledge. I am convinced the insulation on the box combined with feeding extra meal worms during the cold spell kept them alive. I have taken down the old slot box as it is pretty beat up now, and replaced it with a brand new one. Now I wait…and hope…for brood #2. I am certain this pair will nest again after the success of this brood! To top it off my neighbor’s box had 4 of the 5 hatch and leave and now he has another brood with 4 eggs!
PS: It’s always bittersweet when the birds fledge! I will miss seeing Mom & Dad so busy in the yard but hopefully Round 2 will be soon!May 28, 2020 at 8:55 pm #8280David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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Good for you Rich. Yes, it is sometimes hard to let them go, but that is natures’ way and there is not much that we can to to change it. What gives you, me, and the others here the satisfaction is knowing that we have put another brood of birds, no matter their number, into the trees for a shot at life. and we await the next nesting as we did the first one.
Watch the young ones grow.
Stafford, VAMay 28, 2020 at 9:20 pm #8282Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
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Congrats Rich on the new babies fledging – it is always bitter sweet like David said. It’s especially great to see them come back home, though. Mine are now eating out of the cage feeder on their own, with their parents, and will probably stay all winter, or at least the last group of the season will stay, along with 1 or 2 from the other broods. Good to hear most of us are helping them with the feeding of mealworms. My group always are looking for more after they clean the bowl up, but I am very serious about not overfeeding them on the worms. I have plenty of trees, fences, power lines, etc. for them to perch from and they do and hunt for food from them.
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