Baby Birds
May 2013

This message is really for Rose, Mason, and Art ;-))

A pair of Black Phoebes decided that the lamp just outside our back door, under a little roof, was the place to build a nest and do what appears to be naturally for birds, raise a family ;-))

Anyway, we are having fun watching -

May 2013 A pair of really cute little birds decided that the light about a foot from our back door
was the best place to build a nest.
Note that it is covered by a little roof, and likely very hard for crows to get at.
May 2013 We didn't notice this nest until just about complete.
Notice that most of the nest is drying mud, easily available in our pond area.
May 9, 2013 My Word - while we weren't looking !! Four eggs -
The nest is more finished with more dried grass and whatever ;-))
Mamma on the nest - a lot
- flying away with loud cries each time we went out the back door to feed the fish -
May 9, 2013 and a side view :-))
Betty found an egg on a nearby chair - we left it there -
We try hard not to disturb them - much -
Betty noticed (when she peeks through the curtains) that who ever is on the nest has one eye looking at her.
May 20, 2013 Betty noticed some little egg shells on our deck under the nest
and we just had to take another look :-))
Three hatched, the remaining egg seems cracked ???
I think the thin haze around the babies, is "down" to help keep them warm when both Mamma and Papa are either hunting food, or scared off.
It looks as though the remaining egg has a little piece sticking out one side - maybe hatching ??
May 21, 2013 Our best picture of Mamma so far -
She and Papa are really leery of big clumsy carnivores - us
This was taken from ambush, we hid behind a chair, high zoom
They resemble the Black Phoebe - with very pointed beaks
May 22, 2013 All four hatched - so fragile and helpless -
The babies make no sound -
That gray down on the babies seems now pink-yellow?
May 24, 2013 Two more days - are those feathers forming ???
The book says that in 12 to 16 days the babies will have grown enough to fly -
I can't believe they can grow that fast -
- We will see -
May 25, 2013 Indeed, those are feathers -
The parents spend all day hunting, flying in briefly every few minutes - almost distracting -
- must be a lot of bugs and worms in our neighborhood -
Mother sleeps on the nest at night.
We made a 30 second movie
May 26, 2013 Look at the "little" guys, almost fill the nest - hope there is room to grow !!
Look at the growing feathers !!
We still have not seen the parents well enough to look them up in a bird book !!
They don't have diapers - how does mother keep the nest clean ??
The babies make little cries when a parent shows up
- and stick their heads up far enough to be seen from the side.
May 28, 2013 And more and longer feather thingies -
We see only three heads ??
The mother hunts to the east and south, the father to the north west.
May 29, 2013 Look at all those feathers !! Getting all fluffed up :-))
Ah - there are still four heads :-))
I saw Mamma hunting yesterday - zip - flew from the east side of our house,
zip - landed on the big rock in our front yard -
Sat there maybe five seconds - zip to a bush across the street -
Did something quickly - zip back along the east side of our house -
Took about as long to tell it as Mamma took to do it -
May 30, 2013 How many rapidly growing baby birds can be crammed into a small nest ??
We are worried - looking for something big and soft
to put on the floor under the nest - somebody likely to fall out ??
About that clean nest -
Betty saw the ?mother? bird bring in some lumpy insect
and leave with another kind of lump in her beak -
May 30, 2013 Here is Ma and Pa, yelling at me while I sit under their nest.
They fly about, landing on various things nearby -
Momentarily they are together on a trash can cover -
I sat there about 15 minutes wanting to get a better picture
but they would not get much closer than this - max zoom -
May 31, 2013 While Betty was taking this picture,
one of the parents arrived, and pecked her head -
Betty has placed a soft plastic mat ( 5 x 5 feet ) under the nest
in case one of the birds falls out - or tries to fly too early ??
June 2, 2013
Look - open eyes :-))
Betty really WORRIES about these kids
She has an elaborate fall catcher under the nest -
- we can't get out of our back door.
- have to go to the back yard from the side door.
June 3, 2013 It is almost midnight -
"What me worry?" about the lights getting turned on?
... camera about 4 inches away? ...
June 4, 2013 The morning after the night before -
How is this for crowded ??
Betty says the parents don't land,
- just hover a second and pop a worm into a waiting mouth -
June 4, 2013
This afternoon Betty went through the back door to do something
- and about three "baby" birds flew from the nest into the back yard!!
After a little while she wanted to see how many birds, if any, came back
- there were three birds,
- but one took off after she shot the first picture -
June 5, 2013 .
no pictures - Betty does not want to disturb the birds with the camera.
Parents came occasionally to feed remaining babies.
In the late afternoon there was a lot of bird talk - don't understand
June 6, 2013
This morning there were two babies in the nest
- but no parents came to feed them - one baby kept calling - very disturbing -
We called the local "Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabiliitation Center"
We brought the two babies in at noon, one OK, one very weak -
Competent seeming, friendly people gave us this number to enquire about the outcome.
The people took our address . They will release the birds within a mile of our house.
Thats all folks . As requested, I have glued projections to the top of the light fixture to discourage further nest building there.