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Old 07-19-2016, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default Ground Nesters?

Today, I was mowing a section of the right-of-way that was a little overgrown, and a few young mugwort were already starting to take hold. I sickled the mugwort down and mowed a path thereally (at the highest setting).

My memory is a bit fuzzy here, but at one point, I must've walked through again and heard a chirping (or heard it over the mower, which is possible since the mower is quiet, but I think it is unlikely). I was puzzled. It sounded to me like a baby bird...or young fledgling. There was nothing to see. After intensely scanning the ground, I ended up using my hands to feel around, expecting to find a fledgling (hopefully uninjured). Eventually, I ended up uncovering a thick pIle of fine, dry grass (like a lot of thatch from a lawn); under this I saw 4 or 5 dark, fairly old nestlings. They were very active and, upon being uncovered, quickly disappeared under the grass before I could get a photo with my phone. I'm not entirely clear how they wiggled down and out of sight.

I find it hard to believe that in the thin growth, that a nest could've been attached to anything that I cut down with the sickle. The mugwort were only about 2 feet tall and single-stemmed.

I decided that this must be a ground-nesting species. My Internet search suggests that it may be the white-throated sparrow. This would make sense, since I have seen them in the yard all spring...and unusually talkative at times excitingly chattering as I walk the yard.

The babies seemed unharmed, so I left themy as I found them...with an added marker so that I don't bother them agIn...and no where to keep my eye out for the parents.

Does anyone have any experience with something like this?
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:55 PM   #2
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That is interesting dap. They nest north of here. I read that they nest in Canada. I have them every winter and they stay until late spring. Keep an eye on the nest and let us know.
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