Read on for more. Photo by M. LaBarbera. She’s declawed and only spends roughly an hour outside a day so I stupidly thought birds would be safe (this is a first for her) but it had honestly never occurred to me that they would nest on the ground. The nest with four eggs in it that I mentioned previously is, one month later, still four eggs. One parent heading for nest #1 – that dark cave under the rock. The longer you can keep the cat in, the better their chances will be. How…amazing. I watched, and when the dog went away, the junco flew down into the brush in a small ravine at the edge of the parking lot. is the top destination to find quality Wild Bird Feeders and Accessories. Four nestlings from nest #1. Change ), Giant nest update: unhatched eggs, new nests. Photo by M. LaBarbera. Photo by M. LaBarbera. “She flew up from the ground.”. Find the chicks… (hint: look for the yellow of the bill). ( Log Out /  They may have completed the nest but discovered it was vulnerable to predators or unsafe in some way. This chick weighed 3.3 grams. This is a common place for Juncos to place their nests, I’ve come across a few others on the ground in tall grass in previous years. I’m hoping if I keep her in for a couple of days the mother may move any that survived her attack. Three days later—the last day of that trip—we returned in hopes of banding the chicks, but unfortunately their legs were still too small: if I had banded them, the bands might have slipped down over their feet, holding them closed. New nestlings! ( Log Out /  I’ve now spotted YAYN as well, with ALGE keeping watch on her; and I’m 90% sure that I saw three fledglings, although I couldn’t see all of their bands. I hope that I’ll see them on the next trip! I live on Vancouver Island (Western Canada) and I just wanted to thank you for this post. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your account. Both belonging to unbanded parents, unfortunately, so let’s call them nest #1 and nest #2. The bill is pinkish and the eyes are dark.This bird varies geographically. “I scared her up,” my father (who generously field-assisted me on this trip) said. We hurried to get them back into the nest so that they (and their parents) could calm down. The chicks did not want to stay in the nest after we put them back, especially YOGA. I approached to flush him, and there was the nest. “Whoa,” I said. Nest #1 was found when, during mist netting, a junco skittered along the ground bare feet from us. These chicks are very young—more grubs than birds. Like OLLA’s and ALGE’s nestlings, they were very feisty, constantly trying to escape from us. There were two nestlings, probably eight or nine days old, and one unhatched egg. Chicks of this age can walk and perch, so whether they’re in a nest or not doesn’t matter, as long as they’re hidden and the parents know where they are. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. The only things they can do are beg for food and digest. Plant several dense spruce trees with branches near the ground. So it looks very likely that all three chicks fledged and are doing well. You are so lucky to hold them in your hand! The nest with four eggs in it that I mentioned previously is, one month later, still four eggs. ( Log Out /  I’ve been trying to catch them as fledglings near the nest, but so far, no luck. Unfortunately even if I catch a fledgling in that area, I won’t be sure that it is one of them. They have only gone to get food and will return. Dark-eyed Juncos breed in forests across much of North America and at elevations ranging from sea level to more than 11,000 feet. The eastern \"Slate-colored\"race is uniform dark gray or brownish gray depending on whether it is male or female.The western \"Oregon\" race has black (male) or gray (female)hood and brown back.The western \"Pink-sided\" race has a gray head and pinkish sides.The \"Gray-headed\" race of the southern Rockies and Sout… By now YOGA and RARR should have fledged. (Of course my plan was to have twenty or so, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.). Anyways, thanks for helping me to identify and learn a little more about them. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. She will incubate the eggs for 12-13 days, and the young Dark-Eyed Juncos will leave the nest in 9-12 days after hatching to embark on their own lives. You can’t see me if I hide my head… Two of the larger chicks, probably five days old. This may be a stress response. This egg was definitely infertile, since clearly the others were incubated correctly. Keep the area around the trees unmanicured so that tall grass grows up. They had probably fledged days before. :). By the time I was able to visit the nest again, ten days later, the nest was empty. There are a couple of reasons for birds to abandon their nests. They’re basically tiny, pink, slightly fuzzy digestive systems. The parents have abandoned it; the eggs are cold to the touch (i.e., not being incubated). My dad pointed out where the junco had flown from, and sure enough, there was her hidden nest, with the four tiny nestlings she had been brooding when my dad flushed her. They can’t stand up, or open their eyes, or keep themselves warm. They are often found in coniferous forests incuding pine, Douglas-fir, spruce, and fir, but also in deciduous forests such as aspen, cottonwood, oak, maple, and hickory. Hi, thanks for your comment and thanks for thinking of the welfare of the juncos! ( Log Out /  These nestlings were big enough to process, so we banded them YOGA and RARR. If the parents wanted them back in the nest, they would herd them back. During winter and on migration they use a wider variety of habitats including open woodlands, fields, roadsides, parks, and garden… Photo by M. LaBarbera. The key is allowing a bit of unkempt or natural yard. When we checked on them a few hours later we found that they had moved from the nest to some brush about a foot away, also in the ravine. They looked to be about 5 days old as in your pictures. This may work to entice juncos to nest. The third larger chick (right) and the runt. In late April I was mowing the grass growing between the raised vegetable garden beds and discovered this Dark-eyed Junco nest, complete with eggs, on the ground underneath a small overhang. RARR got very puffy, although it wasn’t cold out. Note how the larger chick has more pinfeathers. I would prefer that my interfering with chicks have no consequences at all; but since their parents were feeding them there, and the chicks were entirely concealed, I think this should be fine. We found nest #2 when I noticed a junco scolding a hiker’s dog in the parking lot at one of our sites. This nesting attempt has failed. The last news I had on OLLA’s and ALGE’s nest was that the nest was empty and I spotted BABY in a tree. I’ve also found two new nests! Photo by M. LaBarbera. While juncos won't use nest boxes, you may still attract Dark-eyed Juncos to nest in your backyard. This nesting attempt has failed. I estimate that the three larger chicks all hatched the day prior to these pictures being taken, and that the smallest one hatched on that very day. I now have four-count-’em-FOUR nests to update you on! Momma still has to eat! (I actually think they’re adorable, but I know not everyone will agree.) These birds are about 5 to 6 1/2 inches long. The parents have abandoned it; the eggs are cold to the touch (i.e., not being incubated). Photo by M. LaBarbera. If any chicks survived, it will take a while for them to get old enough to be safe; they may not leave the nest until they’re 9-14 days old, and when they do leave, they’ll still be flightless and clumsy (and vulnerable) for a while. They may have been sitting on unfertile eggs for long enough to realize they weren't going to hatch. My cat brought home two tiny baby birds today and your post helped me identify them as juncos. Parents have to periodically … Since I saw the female incubating over a long enough period to think that she didn’t abandon the nest before the eggs should have hatched, I suspect that the eggs were infertile. This means that, out of four nests, potentially two had issues with infertility—that’s high enough that you would expect it to be a selective pressure on females, to which they might respond by trying to select the most fertile mates, or by mating with multiple males.