The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Phoebe fledglings

Bird porch

The good news is, Mama Phoebe fledged five babies. Pretty impressive!

The bad news is, when those babies started hopping out of the nest for their couple of days on the ground learning to fly, Huckleberry started picking them off the way I gorge on ripe strawberries.

Putting bird back in nest

When we found the first baby on the ground, Mark installed a little porch beneath the nest to let the overflow spill out onto. We figured maybe that baby had simply fallen out of the nest because the receptacle was way too small to hold all those growing birds. After reading a snopes article debunking the notion that birds can smell human on returned babies, I put the dropped fledgling back up high.

Phoebe overflow

That worked fine until the rest of the fledglings tried to learn to fly...and ended up right in Huckleberry's jaws. I know for a fact he got two of the babies and have a sinking suspicion he might have tracked down yet more.

As much as I enjoyed watching the phoebe life cycle up close and personal, I'm hoping Mama Bird learned her lesson and will return to nesting in the barn next year. It's just safer there.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I had a similar problem with robins last year. Momma Robin decided to make a nest under my deck which is about 5 feet off the ground. Unfortunately, she picked a spot where not only my 55 gallon water recycling tank is, but where I have a number of concrete construction projects going on. Finally I decided to pick up her nest and move it into a nearby tree since she was freaking out every time I went under there (which was frequently since I get the chickens water from the tank). No birds nesting there this year.
Comment by NaYan Fri Jun 3 12:18:43 2016
I know. Our kitty can't resist either. Our broody hen hatched some chicks this week. She and the chicks are on lockdown. :)
Comment by Karen Fri Jun 3 12:35:02 2016

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