This is an odd post, but here goes anyway.
It's been a different kind of spring. Normally, I'm out looking for birds,
photographing them, etc. This year has been the year of nests. I didn't go
looking for them, just happened upon them. Of the four different species I've
observed, I was able to get very detailed info on three. Here's briefly what I
1) Kentucky Warbler - nest about 1 foot off the ground in the fork of a woody
plant. When found, female on nest. Later observed three eggs (1 crushed
Kentucky Warbler egg, 2 cowbird eggs). Next visit, nest empty, apparently
raided by snake or some other predator.
2) Wood Thrush - 4 feet above ground in the fork of leaning young tree. When
found, bird on nest. Later observed 4 four blue eggs. Next visit, 1 big
cowbird chick, 1 blue egg remaining. While there, I saw a Blue Jay come along,
snatch the cowbird chick, and fly away.
3) Great Crested Flycatcher - only observed this nest hole once, 20 feet up on
the side of a tree. Don't know what was in there. Hopefully, it'll be more
successful than the others.
4) Ovenbird - only observed this nest once. Five chicks (3 Ovenbirds, 2
cowbirds, one of which was front and center to hog all the food brought back).
The things I've seen this spring made me realize how tough it is for nesting
birds. To think these little warblers go to all the trouble of migrating here,
building a nest, sitting on eggs, bringing food, etc. all to raise another
parasite that will mooch off future generations (I swear this is not ripped off
from a Trump speech), it makes me feel sorry for the birds being used while
their own kind is slowly snuffed out. Every nest I've seen up close this year
has been parasitized or raided. The success rate for raising chicks to adults
must be low for many species of birds. The woods are thick with cowbirds. I
hear them all the time, and it's become an irritating mental image of bums
looking to dump eggs in another bird's nest. Regarding jays, crows, or any
other birds that eat young from another bird's nest, it doesn't bother me so
much because it's nature's way. Even snakes have to do what they are
programmed to do. I guess my hatred of the cowbird is purely subjective. I
can't stand to see that this problem is so rampant now. It's a wonder there's
anything left besides cowbirds! Ironically, if everything else is wiped out,
so goes the cowbird, too.
Before I get reprimanded for anything I said, just know that I'm already aware.
Nesting birds should be left alone. It's possible that by looking at these
nests, I may have led other things to discovering them (impossible on the
Ovenbird nest). Again, I didn't go looking for any of these, just happened to
find them by chance. I wanted to observe a little because I'd never done that
before. Everything pointed toward this being meant to happen this year. I
learned a lesson in how hard it is for these birds to be successful in nesting.
In the future, I will avoid nests completely, even after I've walked right