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Any birders? Question about baby birds out of their nest.

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
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1,871
We have a nuthatch nest on the wreath on our front door. We've watched the babies grow. They are adorable and wonderful (we are smitten!)

Today they were out practicing flying for the first time. It looks like many of them (all?) didn't make it back into their nest and are now huddled together at the base of our front door. They were chirping up a storm as night was falling. Now it is dark and they are quiet but huddled together.

It is going to be unusually cold here tonight (mid 40's).

Should I do anything to protect them? My hunch is I should just leave them alone and let nature take its course whatever that may be. But gosh it is difficult. I shouldn't try to put them back in the nest, should I?

I've googled around and haven't found a definitive answer, but it looks like I should just leave fledgelings along.

Does anyone know? Any bird experts here?
 

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
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Usually fledges should just be left as mom and dad will feed them where they are and take them for lessons in the morning. As long as no animals can get to them, they should be alright.

We have all kinds of wildlife here, so I don't know what could possibly get them overnight. I have seen fox around lately. The fledgelings are on the ground.

We have had a nest of starlings in the past on our garage door (a different door/side of the house) and when this happened, the baby was always gone in the morning (as in gone-gone, taken away by something in the night.) But the starlings came in later when it was warmer when more predatory critters were out.
 

ItsMainelyYou

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 27, 2014
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1,594
Normally, you'd have to let nature find it's way.
But I'd be lying if I said I'd never popped a baby back. I have:oops:
You could just pop them back into the nest, but it stresses out mom and dad quite a bit when you do that; it would have to be done quickly while they're away from the nest.
It is really hard! Nature can be cruel.
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
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Oh no! I can understand why you are concerned!
I guess you should leave them alone, as hard as that is to do.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Such decisions are torture for me.
They do have feathers, which means they are not as vulnerable to the cold as if they didn't have feathers yet.

I'd probably google what the best solution should be and give priority to legit bird sources like The Audubon Society and not bleeding heart granola munchers.

But then I'd probably put on rubber gloves and quickly put the chicks back into their nest, especially since it's 4 feet away and would take one second.
I'd also be careful to not breath on them, have a mask on and turn my head away.
Close the door and resist the temptation to fix the nest so they don't fall out again.

Looks like the nest failed like a dam for water.
If the mom (& dad?) can't make a decent nest that holds their offspring then I'd just commit their souls to Darwin, and not look down when using that door.
........ Perhaps only the fittest should survive?
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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They are adorable!

Years ago I came upon some mourning dove babies in my garden. I took a cardboard box to make a little shelter and propped it up and covered it with some branches. Figured then they have a shelter if they needed it.

This is just what I did but I am no expert.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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It might seem kind and merciful to help these individuals baby birdies survive.

But perhaps it is unkind to their species to help.
Doing so helps inferior genes pass on when, arguably, nature deemed these inferior genes to be left behind.

Your call, I guess.
 

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
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I decided to try to put them back in. Audubon society said only try if they are in danger, and yeah, they are as we have predators in the area and the night will be unseasonably cold for us (40's vs usual 70's). Starlings I've left alone in the past who have never made it to the morning.

So I washed up and put gloves on. I was able to fit 3 fledgelings in the nest very well but the there was no room for the 4th and he/she kept falling out. The other 3 seemed super happy to be back home and snuggled down and went to sleep.

It was either leave the 4th little guy on the ground all by himself (certain doom without even his friends for warmth and group protection) or take him inside. So I made a nest out of clean washcloths in a little box and put him in it. He's now on my kitchen counter.

Yeah, he probably won't survive (or maybe he shouldn't even survive) but I just couldn't leave him outside on the ground completely alone, and get into my warm bed and go to sleep, it just hurt too much.

So tomorrow I will put him back outside on the ground where I found him. Then I'll let nature will take its course. Either he'll make his way or he won't.
 

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
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It might seem kind and merciful to help these individuals babu birdies survive.

But perhaps it is unkind to their species to help.
Doing so helps inferior genes to get passed on when, arguably, nature deemed these inferior genes to be left behind.

Your call, I guess.

Yes, I agree with this as hard as it is.

I put the fledglings back in the nest but vowed to only do it once. If it doesn't work, and they fall out again tomorrow, then so be it. I will not interfere again. The fox living in our yard also need to feed their young.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oh Jesus.

After all that I'd get some wire and tie together the nest so they all could stay put.
 

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
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I reached out to a group called Friends of Texas Wildlife and here's what they said:

"Those might be wrens, it is hard to tell from the photo. Wrens are notorious for building their nests in the most inconvenient place. You can put the baby birds back in the nest for tonight, but don't be surprised if they are out again in the morning. Don't worry about your scent on the chicks as birds don't have a great sense of smell. Fledglings have to fall to the ground in order to learn how to fly. They flutter, flap, and hop until they get the hang of it. The parents will continue to feed them. Attached is a flow chart with information about baby birds.

Thank you for caring about these little guys."
 

RunningwithScissors

Brilliant_Rock
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Well, it is morning now and the little guy in the box on my kitchen counter is squawking up a storm! He's super fussy! LOL (Where's breakfast lady!!!)

The little ones in the nest on my front porch are slowly waking up with just little tiny peep noises.

It is 48 degrees out, which feels super cold for this area, so I don't know how long I should wait to put the little guy back outsid. I don't want him to be too cold, but I also don't want to keep him inside too long so that he's weak and dehydrated when I put him out either.

These decisions are killing me! I want to do the right thing, but I just don't know what that is.
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
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Sep 13, 2019
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Here's a video of the little guy in my kitchen. He's saying "Where are my brothers & sisters? Where's mom? Where's breakfast?"


Be still my heart.

I probably would have done the exact same thing.

Thanks for looking out for this little fussy britches and his siblings! :lol:
 

stracci2000

Ideal_Rock
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OMG, I love this little birdie!
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
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If you haven't seen the parents feeding the ones outside, please take all of them to a wildlife rehabilitation center or they'll shortly be dead.
 
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