Can you even believe that these are the same baby birds? I know that one day very soon, the nest will be empty because they will have fledged. We wish them the best in their journeys and hope they’ll come back to build their own nests next year.
As we moved the pigs to new pasture today, I had a chance to get a look at the Northern Mockingbird nest, hidden in a tangle of greenery on the fenceline. Can you believe how much they’ve grown?
The black raspberries growing wild along the fence are ripening…and they’re delicious! As I was picking berries, I startled a Northern Mockingbird out of a tangle of brush at the top of the fence and realized that she was sitting on a nest.
Occasionally, when we find ourselves near the nest, we try to peek in and see if everything is ok. I was near the fenced-in nest area yesterday when I saw what looked like a dead baby bird in the nest. Just one. What had happened??
Despite our fears that the tiny nest we’d discovered earlier, hidden in tall grass, was abandoned, this morning we found babies!
Mama (and Papa, it seems) have been attending to their new littles, sounding the alarm and trying to lure us away if we get too close. We did have to get close for a few minutes to securely enclose the tiny nest in wire fencing to deter cats and other predators. Interestingly, the chicks were completely silent, just opening their beaks wide when they sensed our presence (their eyes are still closed).
Working quickly, we affixed fencing on top of the fencing that already encircled it. The holes are large enough for Mama to easily fit through, but small enough to keep out larger animals, including curious paws. Once complete, we waited – at a distance – for Mama to return. And she did.
We’ll be rooting for the littles and looking forward to the day when they fly from their nest!
This morning, we found a small nest hidden in the tall grass near the fenceline. It was meticulously woven into a cup shape, and four speckled eggs lay in it. At first, we puzzled over why the nest would have been built so close to the ground, where predators could easily have found it; then, we realized that the parent birds may have thought it well-concealed because we had allowed the pasture to grow long in that area.
Unfortunately, recent mowing may have frightened the parents away. As much as we try to work in harmony with Nature, cutting the grass was necessary – one reason is tick control: keeping grass short can help manage ticks. We left the nest, undisturbed, in the hope that the parents might return.
Update: mama bird has been seen back on the nest, which now has 5 eggs! We put a barrier of wire fencing around the nest (a few feet out) to try to provide protection from predators like cats.
Do you know what kind of bird this nest belongs to? I think it may be a sparrow’s nest.