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Old 06-24-2009, 09:11 PM   #151
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Is he ok now? He doesn't look to good the way he's laying in that box on his back.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:11 PM   #152
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Nice pics Sage. Glad you're back.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:20 PM   #153
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Is he ok now? He doesn't look to good the way he's laying in that box on his back.
It's weird but they will usually stay on their back if in a container. Maybe so their talons and beaks face out!

Thanks, FW, I just stopped in to say hello tonight. We have another week or two of close monitoring to do, then we'll just try to find the fledglings as they go farther from the nest sites.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:21 PM   #154
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Athos, after being rescued. He was examined onsite and placed on the roof. He later got rescued from the ground, examined and again returned to the roof. .
Does that mean he keeps falling from the roof?
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:43 PM   #155
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Lovely photos Sage, even the one where Athos looks as if he's had better days. I hope to hear about your work when you have time.
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:42 AM   #156
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Thanks, Lorax!

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Does that mean he keeps falling from the roof?
Not exactly. This was his first day trying his wings for real flight. They need to learn how to control their flight more finely. If they land in roads, parking lots, construction sites, the DEC wants them put in safer places to continue their learning. It's a dangerous time for endangered species (NYS) fledglings.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:10 PM   #157
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You're doing a great thing Sage. You must be pooped in this heat chasing after them.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:12 AM   #158
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I've never taken photos of bird nests before, so these photos are a first for me.

The first 3 photos are of a finch nest in my garden shed birdhouse.

The second 2 photos are of a nuthatch nest in my grapevines.

No photos of the parents because they were too busy dive bombing my head.

Do any of you birdwatching photographers have any tips for me when taking bird nest photos so I don't upset the mom and dad birds?

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Old 06-26-2009, 09:09 AM   #159
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The adult birds are probably going to see you as soon as you get close to the nest, no matter what you do. The basic rules are:

Don't do nest checks (which is part of what you are doing) early or late in the day. The middle of the day is best because it is warm and the young have been fed all morning. Evening is a bad time because it is getting cool, the young are getting their last meals of the day and you leave more human scent, which could attract predators at night.

Do the check as quickly and efficiently as possible. I will spend extra time removing unhatched eggs, young that have died in the nest, or addressing a parasite issue, rather than just getting a count and getting out.

Leave the nest box from the same route you took to it. This reduces the amount of human scent trail, again.
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Don't worry about upsetting the adults. I do nest checks at least once per week. I'd prefer to do them twice per week. The more that you do them (reasonably), the less it bothers the adults. It does not surprise me any more to have a female bluebird, tree swallow or purple martin sit on her eggs when I open the nest door to do a count. If they are used to you they will allow you to touch them. Watch the nest after you get a good distance from it. An adult should visit the nest soon after you do. They appear to do a complete inventory and make sure that everything is as it should be. If you host tree swallows, wait until they are just getting ready to lay eggs or have just started. Take some white feathers from a feather pillow out on a breezy day. When you see the adults let a feather go in the wind. They will play with the feather until one decides to add it to the nest. If you have several pairs of tree swallows this is especially fun to do. One grabs it, with several others following. The bird will drop the feather on purpose and allow another to grab it. This goes on until the feather is deposited in a nest box - repeat.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:36 PM   #160
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Thank fishlkmich!!!

VERY good information and really great tips for a beginner bird nest watcher like me.

That pillow feather thing sounds like a hoot! Sort of like a down comforter for bird nests eh?

I've done something similar except I've used dog hair while brushing my dog outside. I release small globs of fuzzy dog hair into the breeze, and birds nab it minutes later.

Thanks again for the "bird nest checker" tips.
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