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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Inspired by . . . Nest Watch

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram  you may know that I recently became a certified nest watcher for The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Sounds like a big deal, and it is to me, but really, anyone can do it. If you have nesting birds in your area and want to help collect data, you can sign up here.

So far this year, I have three active nests and, sadly, two failed attempts.

The Eastern Phoebe pair appear to be using the same nest as last year. It is located under the eave at the back of our cottage.




The first, and second viewing has revealed two eggs.



I’m very much hoping for a happy ending here.

The cardinal pair are on their second attempt. My first visit to the nest revealed three {I think} babies.




I was concerned about the nest from the beginning because the limb on which the nest sits is only about 5-5.5 ft off the ground. I can easily access the nest, which means so can predators. When I returned to the nest a few days later, the babies were gone and a single egg was present. It was far too early for these little guys to fledge. This pair needs to pick a better location for their nest site.




The Carolina Chickadee pair also had a failed attempt, but for completely different reasons. I believe they already had at least one hatchling when I first observed them, because they were taking food to the nest. That’s a green grub in his mouth.




The steel pipe they built their nest in seemed like a good choice. It would be hard for predators to access the nest.




It wasn’t until days later, when I finally found my ladder and climbed up to look inside, that I realized how small the pipe was inside - - only about 2 inches in diameter. It may be that some of the babies fledged, but there was one inside that didn’t make it.




The third active nest I’m monitoring is a pair of scissor-tailed flycatchers. You may remember that a pair nested here last year and had two successful hatchlings. You can see pictures of last years nest watch here and here.




The nest from last year isn’t there anymore, but a their new nest is looking pretty good. The nest is too high for me to see into, but I think we’re at the egg stage, as the female is spending a lot time on the nest. I’ll be checking back in a day or two.




Observing nature is not for the faint of heart. Knowing the fate of the cardinal chicks and seeing the Carolina chickadee’s young one hurt my heart. But it also reminds me of God’s love.

If my heart hurts over baby birds, how much more does God grieve over the woes of His children?

So why doesn’t He do something about it,  you ask?

He has.

For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Joh 3:16



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Wild Bird Wednesday  Saturday's Critters_2 Little by Little

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June