Here, hereI absolutely concur!
/ |` Cyndi Routledge
Southeastern Avian Research
Specializing in Winter Hummingbird banding
1515 N. Willow Bend Court
Clarksville, TN 37043
From: <tn-bird-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> on behalf of Stefan Woltmann
Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 11:46 AM
To: Tn Bird <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [TN-Bird] Re: Nesting Birds
I don't think it's an odd post; and I think it IS important to highlight
what a difficult time a lot of our birds have in a lot of our landscapes.
And also important for people (preaching to the choir here, I know) to
remember how important basic monitoring/demographic studies are - very hard
to fund such studies these days because monitoring is not "sexy" or "cutting
On Tue, May 24, 2016 at 1:02 PM, Chad Smith <kingbird09@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
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
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 into one.