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If you find a hatchling or a nestling on the ground and you can see its nest, you should try to safely return it. Fledglings are feathered and capable of hopping or flitting, with toes that can tightly Do baby birds ever drown in nests in heavy rain? .. It was sleeping and didn't do anything when we got close.
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Most experienced birders prefer a field guide with drawings by an expert rather than with photographs. Good bird artists portray birds in similar poses, using their experience and knowledge to make it easier for you to key in on the important field marks. With photographs, lighting conditions and differences in bird postures can obscure important features or highlight unimportant ones, although the photos in some well-done guides are digitally manipulated to make color comparisons among different species more accurate.

You may also want to consider size when buying a field guide: Other than that, small-geographic area or state-focused guides do not include all the birds found in a given area. These are more minimalist types of guides that should be used in conjunction with a more thorough guide to avoid misidentifications and frustration. Once you become more familiar with the birds you're seeing, you'll find the All About Birds Online Bird Guide a wonderful reference for more information about each species as well as for photos and sounds of the birds. We always know spring is here when we get this question.

It means the Rose-breasted Grosbeak is migrating north. We follow its migration as emails arrive, first from Florida and then a few days later from South Carolina or Tennessee. That depends on what they looked like! They could have been blackbirds, grackles, cowbirds, crows, nighthawks, robins, or any other number of species that flock. At the end of summer, when birds finish breeding, many species become more social and join flocks. In the evening, hundreds of them may travel toward roosts and spend the night together.

There are four key features for visual identification. While looking at an unfamiliar bird, observe:. Birders try to take notes about these four features, and some sketch or photograph the bird as well to help make an ID. How does this tell us what the bird is? By looking at the bird's shape, we can get an idea of what family it belongs to. Might it be a duck? How is the bill shaped? Long or short, stout or thin, straight or curved? If another bird is nearby, we look at relative sizes.

Is our bird sparrow-sized? Smaller than a robin? Larger than a crow? And we look at the shape and size of various features, compared to other features on the bird itself. Are the wings long? Do they extend to the tip of the tail? Is the beak long compared to the bird's head size? Then we look at overall colors and special patterns. Does it have wingbars? Streaking on the breast or back? We're also paying attention to the bird's behavior. Does it walk or hop on the ground? Flit out from a tree, grab a bug and flit back?

Is it visiting a feeder? Is it alone or feeding with other birds? If it vocalized, what did it sound like?

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Habitat is also important. Is the bird in deep forest, expansive prairie, open woods, a marsh or swamp? Your location will also be an important clue to help rule out bird species not found in your region during that time of year. Now look in a field guide and try to find your bird. This can seem exceptionally frustrating when you're just starting out, and often your bird will disappear before you've even come to the right page.

That's where taking notes can help. You can also try to identify your mystery bird by using our Merlin Bird ID app. The Merlin app asks a series of questions, like where you are located, and the colors of the bird, and then gives you a list of possible birds you may be seeing. If you have some guesses about your bird's identity but still aren't sure, take a look at the All About Birds Online Bird Guide for additional clues about appearance, behavior, and sound.

Even if you don't find this bird, don't get discouraged. Little by little, you'll learn various species, and every time you search through your book you'll grow a little more familiar with where the different species are grouped, making you quicker to find the next one. Your goldfinches aren't sick—they're molting. Every summer, goldfinches replace their bright body feathers with duller ones for the winter. The new feathers come in one by one, giving the birds that strange patchwork appearance.

Unlike most songbirds, goldfinches molt twice a year. At winter's end, they'll grow in a complete set of new golden yellow feathers. Again each one will have a strange, patchy appearance for a few days, but soon they'll be vividly beautiful again. Male House Finches are generally red, but under certain certain circumstances they may be orange or yellow instead.

2. Sick and Injured Birds

Different subspecies may show color variations, but differences in color are also attributed to diet. When a bird is molting, its diet will determine the colors of its new feathers. If a diet lacks certain pigments, then a House FInch may end up orange or yellow instead of its usual red. Project FeederWatch participants often keep track of interesting birds, including those with unusual color patterns. Read more about House Finch color variations on the FeederWatch website. Some individual birds may look quite different than they appear in field guides. Often, there's a very simple reason behind this: For example, when American Goldfinch molt between their showy spring and summer plumage and their more drab winter plumage, they can look very unusual during the transition period.

But birds, like other animals, can also exhibit naturally occurring color and pigment variations that can make ID difficult. Examples of white and partly white versions of common birds: If you think that you see an individual of a certain species, but the color isn't quite "right," keep these variations in mind and remember that size, shape, and behavior often help to identify a bird even when its plumage looks odd. Comparing the shape of a strange bird with other birds nearby can be very helpful as individuals often flock with others of their species.

Visit FeederWatch's Unusual Birds page to learn more about color variations in birds. Some species wander more regularly than others. Many winter finches, such as crossbills and Pine Grosbeaks, may arrive en masse in response to scarce food in their northern homes. Snowy Owls may wander south when the population of their favored food, lemmings, plunges. Irregular migrations such as these are termed irruptions. Migrating birds may be blown off course by the strong winds of hurricanes and other violent storms, or grounded by fog, heavy rain, or other adverse weather conditions.

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Some birds, often juveniles, disperse northward after the breeding season in what is referred to as post-breeding or vagrant wandering. This is especially common with some herons and ibises. Occasionally birds appear in new areas by migrating in a direction opposite to that expected, referred to as reverse migration. One theory to explain this is that their internal navigational system is malfunctioning. This may explain sporadic appearances of Fork-tailed Flycatchers in North America. No one has teased out exactly why this seems to be happening more often in recent decades than in the past.

Remember that range is a dynamic concept, and species' ranges change over time, albeit usually quite slowly. Tufted Titmice and Northern Cardinals, for instance, live much further north than they did years ago. What should I do to report a rare bird? If you are fortunate enough to see a rare bird, you should take careful notes about what you see, describing plumage color patterns, beak shape, eye color, behavior, habitat, vocalizations, and any other features that will aid in identification.

Draw a sketch of the bird noting any distinctive characteristics or, better yet, try to take a photograph or video of the bird in action. If you're inexperienced at documenting rare birds, you might want to call a trusted, more experienced birder to see if she or he can confirm your sighting. Your careful documentation of this bird will help you build your skills and also ensure that your report becomes part of the scientific record.

Once you're absolutely certain of its identification and have written down your documenting description, Report it to your local bird club, Rare Bird Alert, or Audubon chapter, and make sure to report it on eBird. Don't feel defensive if you're questioned about all the details. It is essential for official records to be accurate, and the overall feeling is that it's best to leave out some legitimate sightings that aren't well-enough documented than to include some inaccurate ones.

Virtually every birder has had at least one sighting rejected by a state organization. This is not a commentary on your birding skills or a judgment of what you've really seen, but simply a conclusion, usually by a committee, that there is at least a remote chance that your bird may have been something else. Usually their findings will be very helpful in teaching receptive birders and not just the one whose report was rejected! Check out the models included in our Best Binocular Review.

And birding locally can provide endless enjoyment and excitement as you hone your skills and continually learn more about the diversity and behavior of birds. Using binoculars is like riding a bike —wonderfully easy, once you have the hang of it. Before you try to see birds through your binoculars, you need to make a few adjustments. Virtually all binoculars have several helpful features that allow them to be tailored to different users.

The eyecups hold the ocular lenses the lenses you look through exactly the right distance from your eyes this distance is called eye relief , to optimize magnification and cut out peripheral light, making the image clearer and brighter. Since eyeglasses hold binoculars away from the eyes and let in peripheral light anyway, retract the eyecups if you do wear glasses.

Next, set the barrels of the binoculars to match the distance between your eyes. Looking through them, adjust the barrels until you have a solid image through both eyes. Virtually all binoculars on the market have center focusing, in which a single knob or lever controls the focus for both eyepieces simultaneously.

Our eyes are seldom precisely matched, so to accommodate the difference between our two eyes, binoculars also have a diopter adjustment near the optical lens on one side or the other, or as part of the center focus knob. Finally, make the neck strap as short as it can be while still allowing you to use the binoculars comfortably and put them over your head easily. The longer the strap is, the more the binoculars will bounce, and the greater the chance you may bonk them against rocks, tables, and other objects whenever you bend down.

If you're new to birding, watch our free how-to video series, Inside Birding , to get started on identifying birds with confidence. Many birders keep their old optics on a closet shelf just in case anything happens to their new ones. Both organizations send used and sometimes new! These are the basic four keys of bird identification , and they can make it possible to identify a bird with just the briefest of sightings.

Robin-sized, buffy color, long tail, round body, small head. Your curiosity is piqued, but the moment has passed. Based on the size we can eliminate the larger pigeon, and the smaller House Finch and swallows. The long tail rules out starling, bluebird and robin. The color is wrong for a blackbird. That leaves American Kestrel and Mourning Dove. You noted the body was round and the head small like a dove rather than slender and blocky headed like a falcon.

Though you may not be able to be percent certain, Mourning Dove is looking more and more likely. By applying these basic identification skills you can make a very well-educated guess. In the birding community a Big Day can be a challenge birders set for themselves, or it can be a competitive event where people and teams compete against each other. It began in and attracts 70 or more teams; the winning team often tallies more than species in the state of New Jersey in a single day. But Big Days can be held anywhere in the world; in a team from Louisiana State University set a new world Big Day record in northern Peru with a whopping species.

In the Cornell Lab's team, the Sapsuckers, set a North American Big Day record on a route through central and southern Texas, recording species. In , a birder named Dorian Anderson tallied species across North America during a Big Year, traveling entirely by bicycle. When a late October straggler in the East is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, it's usually an immature bird from further north whose mother got a late start with that nest. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are strongly migratory, but their bodies need a high level of fat to fly long distances. As people bring in their feeders in fall and frosts kill nectar-bearing flowers, those hummingbirds remaining have to go long distances between feeders, so yours may remain for a week or two before its body is replenished enough to continue.

Hummingbirds are surprisingly hardy as long as they can get enough food each day, and they need extra calories during cold spells. Oddly, many of the hummingbirds that turn up at Eastern feeders late in the season aren't Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at all! For some reason, more and more Rufous Hummingbirds from the West are heading southeast instead of directly south to Mexico.

Believe it or not, one of these turned up in my northern Minnesota backyard on November 17, , and remained for over two weeks! And sometimes tropical hummingbirds such as Green Violetear turn up at feeders in the U. So look carefully at yours just in case, and keep the food fresh.


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Tragically, some of these stragglers do end up dying, but your feeder really isn't keeping your hummingbird from migrating. Rather, your feeder is giving it its best chance to restore its body to continue on. Each year, migratory birds cross the Gulf of Mexico during hurricane season. Most birds wait for favorable winds and weather before starting a migratory flight, so seldom strike out over water during a hurricane, but some birds may be well offshore when a storm begins.


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Although migrants have enough fat fuel reserves to make the mile Gulf crossing in favorable winds, they may not have enough energy to survive if they have to fight against headwinds. Before and after flights, when migrants have higher than normal food requirements, they may have problems finding safe supplies of food in areas devastated by storms.

Resident birds in hurricane areas also suffer when their food supplies, such as fruits and berries, are stripped from trees and shrubs. Like migrants, they may wander to other areas in search of food. Preserving critical coastal habitats is essential for these birds. It's also crucial for them that we enforce strict regulations to prevent hazardous materials from leaking or spilling during storms and floods.

Large storm systems may drive some birds far off-course. Strong-flying birds often move ahead of the storm, carried by the winds at the forefront of the weather system. Brown Pelicans, Magnificent Frigatebirds, and other oceanic birds have been recorded far inland, sometimes more than a thousand miles from the coast, after hurricanes.

Some of these birds may find their way back; others, unable to deal with the unfamiliar terrain or to find appropriate food in freshwater, may die. Birds and hurricanes have coexisted for millennia, and given the chance, healthy bird populations rebound from the effects of such natural disasters. Unfortunately, humans make this difficult for some birds because we have destroyed so much natural coastal habitat, and so nowadays hurricanes pose greater threats to vulnerable bird populations than they once did. Working to preserve and restore as much coastal habitat as possible, to minimize toxic spills and leaks during storms by enacting and enforcing strict regulations, and to keep bird populations healthy year round are our best strategies for minimizing the long-term effects of hurricanes on birds.

For a more detailed discussion about hurricanes and birding in and around them, check out eBird's Hurricane Birding—an eBird Primer in the second part of eBird's article on Hurricane Irene You may also be interested in Storm Birding: Hurricane Arthur , and Hurricane Sandy—a dangerous and intriguing storm! We do get a lot of questions from people surprised by seeing American Robins in winter.

But although some American Robins do migrate, many remain in the same place year-round. Over the past 10 years, robins have been reported in January in every U. As with many birds, the wintering range of American Robins is affected by weather and natural food supply, but as long as food is available, these birds are able to do well for themselves by staying up north. One reason why they seem to disappear every winter is that their behavior changes. In winter robins form nomadic flocks, which can consist of hundreds to thousands of birds. Usually these flocks appear where there are plentiful fruits on trees and shrubs, such as crabapples, hawthorns, holly, juniper, and others.

REALLY AWESOME FAN SOUND FOR SLEEP

When spring rolls around, these flocks split up. This behavioral switch is quite common in birds. You can report your robin sightings and any other birds you see at eBird. Many migratory songbirds return to the same local area, and often to the exact same territory, each spring, even after traveling thousands of miles to and from their wintering grounds. Migratory songbirds tend to have short lives annual mortality rates are about 50 percent , but birds that survive their first winter to breed in your yard have a higher chance of surviving year to year.

Studies of banded birds show that percent of migratory songbirds are likely to return to the same local area at least two years in a row. Their hormones also trigger a huge appetite, and they start eating voraciously, gaining significant amounts of weight. Many insectivorous species supplement their diet with fruits, grains, and other items that can be converted to body fat, which birds burn efficiently for energy.

When To Help A Baby Bird, And When To Leave It Alone

These hormonal shifts make birds increasingly restless, especially at nighttime. Weather radar images show where radar beams have been "reflected" as they sweep the atmosphere. They're useful for showing weather conditions because the beams are reflected by precipitation and the water vapor in clouds, but they can also be reflected by swarming masses of birds or insects. In the early days of World War II, British radar operators noticed mysterious, ethereal shadows drifting across their screens.

They weren't associated with weather systems and so the radar technicians nicknamed them "angels. As a Louisiana State graduate student, he worked with radar images to document the existence of massive trans-Gulf migrations. In the late s, Gauthreaux started examining archival radar images and made a disturbing discovery: Graduate students took stunning images of giant expanding aerial doughnuts, which they found to be thousands of Purple Martins radiating from critical roosting sites each morning. Now it's easy for anyone with access to a NEXRAD weather map on their computer to see birds take off on migratory movements at night or alight in the morning, if you know how to interpret the mystifying patterns.

You can learn how at Gauthreaux's website at Clemson University. Swans, geese, and ducks migrate both by day and by night, so it's quite likely you were hearing swans. Most songbirds migrate by night as well. Standing outside listening is a wonderful way to appreciate the magnitude of nocturnal migration. If you're interested, Braddock Bay Bird Observatory offers a good example of using radar to see bird migration. Try this site to learn how to identify flight calls of nocturnal migrants. Or just train your spotting scope on the full moon and see how many birds pass by!

Individuals of a few hummingbird species, most often Rufous but also some Allens, Anna's, and others, have been wintering further north in recent years. You can get an idea of where hummingbirds have been found in winter by looking at maps from eBird , like this one of Rufous Hummingbird during the winters from — For reasons still not well understood, more and more of these birds are surviving the entire season even in more northerly areas. Birds of all species, whether rarities or right in the heart of their wintering range, do die over winter, but as long as they have reliable food sources they have a reasonable chance of surviving well into the season.

Some have even returned to the same feeders from one winter to the next. Few spectacles are as exciting as witnessing a big hawk migration—and each fall brings another chance. You just need to find a good view and pay attention to weather patterns. Being at the right place on the right day during hawk migration can be a transcendent experience in which hundreds, perhaps thousands of raptors pass by.

Most hawks are soaring birds. They depend on thermals and updrafts to help them travel. They also tend to follow shorelines so that they avoid crossing large bodies of water where updrafts and thermals are scarce. In the fall, the best time to observe hawk migration is often the second day after a cold front has passed. This is especially true if there are steady northwest or west winds producing updrafts as the strong air currents are forced over the north-south oriented ridges. The project is a collaboration between ornithologists and computer scientists.

It produces free, weekly forecasts about which birds are likely to be migrating across which regions of North America. Additionally, the Hawk Migration Association of North America has a map of hawkwatch sites for each state. So find a hilltop, open area, or shoreline with a clear view to the north or northwest. Watch the weather or determine when a cold front will be passing through. Wait one day, and if the forecast for the following day is sunny and breezy, head to your spot and give it a shot! There are several possibilities, but at this time of year it's likely that these are family groups moving around, now that the yearlings can fly, in search of feeding grounds.

Canada Geese raise their young near water, where the goslings can feed and if necessary dive or swim away to escape predators. In late summer the adults temporarily become flightless for several weeks as they molt their wing feathers. Once the young have learned to fly, and the parents have regained their flight, the whole family will take off from their nesting grounds to find more productive feeding areas—and this movement could be in any direction.

This happens in the late summer before the massive southward migration as temperatures drop across the continent. First- and second-year geese not old enough to breed , along with those that lost nests early in the breeding season also undertake a molt migration. Individuals may move several to hundreds of miles during the late spring and summer to large bodies of water where they will be safer as they molt their wing feathers.

In September and October, many of these individuals will be returning from this seasonal journey, and again may be seen flying in almost any direction. Also, bear in mind that there are increasingly large numbers of resident Canada Geese across North America. These birds do not migrate at all and so you may see them at any time of year flying in any direction. Their numbers have been growing exponentially since the mid-twentieth century and they have begun to be seen as nuisances in some communities.

Read more on the difference between migratory and resident Canada Geese. Even in the best of circumstances, spring and fall are dangerous times for migrating birds. When they migrate over major cities, the risks increase. Many potentially fatal collisions happen when a nocturnal migrant hits a lighted high-rise jutting into their airspace. Some of these collisions are random, but much more often the lighted windows lure birds to their deaths.

The reasons are not entirely understood, but nocturnal migrants often navigate by the stars and illuminated windows and other night lights often divert them from their original flight paths, especially in low-ceiling or foggy conditions. The birds mill about in the lighted area, where they collide with the lighted structure or with one another. In addition to buildings, communications towers and radio antennas pose similar threats. Hundreds or thousands of dead birds may litter city streets after a wave of migrants has passed through.

In all, an estimated million to 1 billion birds die each year in North America from colliding with structures. As we learn more about where, when and how these nighttime collisions happen, we are also learning how we can prevent them. One study conducted by the Field Museum in Chicago showed that in one building, turning the lights off reduced the number of bird kills by an average of 83 percent. There are other reasons that birds collide with buildings, and especially with windows.

Visit our Window Collisions page for more on the subject, and other window treatments that help prevent collisions in residential areas. The answer depends a lot on where you live, of course. But several common species, such as Red-winged Blackbirds, Tree Swallows, and Killdeer, are among the first returning migrants across much of North America. You can also use data from eBird to find out when to expect birds to return to your location, and our BirdCast project for weekly forecasts during migration season predicting which species will be on the move.

Naturally, the timing of migration depends a lot on how far south or north you are—but February and early March usually bring the first returning birds. Some of the earliest spring migrants are Red-winged Blackbirds , Killdeer , American Robin bear in mind that plenty of American Robins actually stick around all year long , Tree Swallow , and, in the East, Eastern Phoebe. A great way to get a handle on when different species might be arriving in your area is by using the Bar Charts feature in eBird.

Another way to keep up with migratory bird movement is by visiting BirdCast. The BirdCast team studies weather forecasts to make predictions about bird migration: At other times of the year, you can find interesting analyses and discussions of weather patterns and bird movements. For example, they posted this informative blog post about some of the early spring migration patterns seen in late February Although we don't have a good handle on when Snowy Owls get back to their breeding grounds, we do know that they typically start leaving the Lower 48 in March.

Scattered reports may trickle in through April and into May or even June. One reason we know so little about Snowy Owls is that they breed in the very remote, barren reaches of the high arctic, and they visit more populated areas in winter only sporadically. This project aims to fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge by satellite-tracking the movements of individual owls. He says that in big irruption years like , when there are lots of owls around, some stay till April, and occasionally to May. It is very rare to see one in June, but the latest record for a Snowy Owl in the state of Massachusetts is July 7.

The huge amount of publicly available data in eBird is a great resource for answering this sort of question, for Snowy Owls or any other species. You can use the Explore Data section to look at data in several ways:. Learn more about Snowy Owls in our species guide. We enjoyed this thought-provoking question so much that we posed it to our entire staff in an email. The most popular answer was perhaps the most pragmatic: Of the many other suggestions, here's a sample:. A great many birds, from waterfowl to Bobolinks, feed on rice in nature.

That said, the whole idea of exploding birds is alarming but somehow funny enough to have inspired a Dave Barry column in , but the column itself was based on an untrue rumor. It also may attract rodents. Probably the birds you hear are nesting in your chimney , and they're right where they want to be. The most likely possibility is that the birds are Chimney Swifts assuming you live within their range in eastern North America.

If so, the young will have no trouble at all leaving the chimney. It's possible they're European Starlings , which commonly nest in cavities and crevices in buildings. Those young aren't as adept as swifts, but they're still likely to be able to fly safely out of the nest when it's time. Sometimes, larger cavity-nesting birds like Wood Ducks and Barn Owls can fall down into a chimney and are too large to fly out, but these would make quite different sounds than a nest full of chicks. If you have a traditional chimney, you can try turning off all the lights in the house, leaving a door open and opening the flue—the bird will see the light of the exit and try to get out.

If that fails, it is best to contact a licensed rehabilitator; you can find one in your area here. Read more about the remarkable Chimney Swift or, in the West, Vaux's Swift , listen to its chattering call , and compare it to the European Starling , in our All About Birds species guide. Although most small dogs are too heavy for a hawk or owl to actually carry, it's still possible for large raptors to attack and kill them.

A five-pound dog is no bigger than a large rabbit—a hawk might easily attack and carry it away. Of course, a dog this size is also in danger from foxes, coyotes, bears, raccoons, and even other dogs, so it might be wise to let your dog out only when accompanied by you. If hawks present a significant danger because you live on a raptor migration route or have hawks nesting nearby, seriously consider getting a second dog. Hawks are far less likely to attack one dog when another, even one equally small, is nearby.

A kennel with a wire roof can also protect small dogs, not just from hawks and owls but also from other predators and human dognappers. I can certainly understand not wanting the birds to eat expensive fish! Of course, the birds have no concept of the value of koi, and are simply doing what they do best: To get herons to pursue their livelihood elsewhere, people have tried a variety of techniques.


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  6. Unfortunately, we at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have different goals, and actively encourage herons to visit our pond here in Sapsucker Woods. For suggestions, visit the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds web page on deterring herons. The European Starling is an exotic species that was introduced to North America in and It's now a permanent resident across the United States and Canada, almost always near areas of human habitation, disturbance, or agriculture, so is seldom found away from cities, suburbs, parks, and farms.

    As you've figured out the hard way, the European Starling is considered a "problem" bird for several reasons:. Unfortunately, discouraging starlings from roosting around your house can be difficult at best. Installing a plastic model hawk or owl in a tree may help for a short time, but if that's all you do the birds will soon realize it poses no threat and ignore it.

    Many people recommend using a predator decoy in combination with another bird deterrent, such as a recording of starling distress calls broadcast through a loudspeaker, though starlings tend to habituate to these noises much more quickly than people do. A sudden loud noise may flush starling flocks from your trees, at least the first few times you try it.

    Some people use fireworks, or clang pots and pans together. Sometimes even just clapping your hands is enough to flush a starling flock, once or twice. But starlings are usually more persistent than people are, and least adjust to even sudden noises more quickly than we do. Any time you notice even a single starling hanging out near your house, try to chase it away. Be persistent from the beginning to avoid having a flock become established in your yard.

    It's much harder to get a flock to move once they've settled in at a roost site. One of the most effective ways of driving a starling roost away involves a particular kind of professional help. Call your local game warden or a department of environmental conservation to find out if any falconers live near you. If you can enlist the aid of falconers to come for a few visits, their birds may get a bracing hunting experience that sends the starlings packing for good. And what can I do about it? How can I get woodpeckers to leave my house alone? Once you know why woodpeckers are hammering on your house, you can develop strategies for stopping them.

    The Cornell Lab's archived website Woodpeckers: Damage, Prevention, and Control also has information on woodpecker damage, clearing out problem insects to deter woodpeckers, and protecting your home. Researchers at the Lab of Ornithology have performed studies relating nuisance woodpeckers. One study, External characteristics of houses prone to woodpecker damage , found that lighter colored aluminum and vinyl sidings are less likely to be damaged by woodpeckers. Another paper, Assessment of Management Techniques to Reduce Woodpecker Damage to Homes , tested six common long-term woodpecker deterrents: Researchers found that nothing deterred woodpeckers all the time, and only the streamers worked with any consistency.

    Homeowners have reported some success deterring woodpeckers with windsocks, pinwheels, helium balloons shiny, bright Mylar balloons are especially effective , strips of aluminum foil, or reflective tape. Other people keep woodpeckers away by covering an affected area with burlap or attaching bird netting the kind designed for gardens and fruit trees from overhanging eaves to the siding. If you use netting, make sure it is taut and set at least 3 inches from the siding to avoid birds pecking through it.

    Close off openings on the sides to prevent birds from becoming trapped between the netting and the house. You may also want to plug the holes with wood putty to discourage further activity. If a woodpecker has dug a roost hole into your house, make sure there are no birds inside before sealing it up. These types of products can fatally injure birds and other animals. Sapsuckers tap for running sap in the springtime, circling a trunk or large limb with their tiny drill holes, and when those wounds heal over, drills a whole new ring of holes.

    Surprisingly, most trees survive this quite easily, in the same way that maple trees survive humans tapping for syrup. And the sapsucker wells are vitally important for other birds, supplying a reliable source of food for hummingbirds, kinglets, Cape May Warblers, and other species, especially when they're first returning in spring.

    We at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have named the beloved woods about our laboratory Sapsucker Woods, so you just know we're going to take the birds' side in this. That said, there really are some trees that people shouldn't have to risk losing. If the woodpecker isn't working too high, the easiest, and usually most effective, way of sending a sapsucker off is to wrap the tree in burlap, over a wide enough section that it doesn't start a new ring of holes.

    Many birds are alarmed by bright Mylar balloons filled with helium, which wave about in a way they can't predict, so tying a few around your tree should provide additional insurance that it doesn't just start digging in a new place in the same tree. The cycle of life continues in this way. Ask an adult to send your question to us.

    Please tell us your name, age, and which city you live in. You can send an audio recording of your question too, if you want. Send as many questions as you like! Being Well Together — Manchester, Manchester. Walter Carroll Lunchtime Concerts: Oriental Breeze — Manchester, Manchester.

    Available editions United Kingdom. Seagulls travel together in groups, but prefer to be alone when they feel sick. Grainne Cleary , Deakin University. I would say there are a few things happening that stop you from finding many dead gulls. Found this article useful? You might also like Although it is very hot, when lava flows over the ground, it generally does not melt the soil or rock. Generally once a fortnight, someone at home will place the recycling bin out for a truck to drive past and empty your bin. A drone image of a breeding colony of Greater Crested Terns.

    We only saw the mama feed it at dusk yesterday and none today. It was alone in nest at It is large, but not flying out like the other two. Does any one know what causes this? And will it fly out on its own? I am watching the last little finch of 5 perched at the edge of the nest in a planter on the porch. Meanwhile my heart aches. They have been coming back to nest for about 8 years. We get a new plant for them each year. Very good to know. And it makes me think of what might possibly make a story: They are on the roof terraces of our building.

    The nests can hardly be called nests, a few sticks, rocks, even a chicken bone randomly dropped in a spot. When I was a kid a ruby-crowned kinglet made a nest in a spruce tree right outside our dining room window. One day we experienced a particularly severe downpour, and the tree was offering scant protection. My mother went out and tucked an open umbrella above the nest. Do baby birds ever drown in nests in heavy rain? A mamma bird had 3 babies in a hanging plant in my porch over the days ive seen the mamma coming and going since we had a.

    What can i do? They are in the nest with eyes open and mouths open help please.

    1. Baby Birds

    I fed the baby bird she was starving! I mixed wet dog food and baby cereal the little bit of water and fed it just a little bit every 20 minutes. How long has the Robin been gone? You did a good job feeding it every 20mins. Another substitute is wet cat food. If you think the mother is never coming back, put it in a cage, like a cat-carrier. If it is a nestling then get a bowl, cover it with newspapers and put the birdie in the bowl in the cage. Keep feeding it every 20mins. Contrary to Internet advice we got attached to it and it thrived. We were its mother showing it love and that helped it not only survive but thrive, and in return it loved us back.

    Poor fleglings just born yesterday or day before. They all appear stressed from the heat, even momma, with mouths wide open. Anything I can do? My little girl found a Hatchling 2days old i think. There is 2 nests under my garage eaves the nests r so close side by side and dried grass all in the middle i tried to find a opening for the nests and could not!

    So i left the baby bird in the middle… Will the momma bird move it back in the right nest???? I put a towle down for if the hatchling was to fall out again. That was at 5: I have watched these doves lay 4 times. This pair has gotten big enough to fledge…then one died unexpectedly. The other baby fledged shortly after his sibling fell from the nest. A couple years ago a couple baby ducks were hanging out in my yard. Does the same thing apply to ducks as well? Good info, we just found a fledgling in the back yard and were wanting to help it but we keep an eye out instead and keep dogs from backyard.

    Literally same exact situation for me. Found 2 fledglings, 1 flew away with Mom. Keeping dogs out of backyard as well! Found a fledgling hopping around, learning to fly, but it was starting to snow. It was soaked so I dried it off and let it go. I know letting nature take its course is preferable, but I think I will keep it indoors overnight next time. Man, I really need think before I act,rather than acting first and thinking later.. I immediately swooped it up and put it in a bird cage I had sitting outside that I just finished cleaning for my tiels, when 2 birds dive bombed me..

    Well anyways, I still brought it in for the night and syringe fed it water and specialty formula for birds. But then I read this,and immediately let it go back in the yard. I really hope so! I just took one in because 2 starlings were pecking and attacking him, trying to pick him up, and I guess kill it. I feed it with tweezers with some suet on it.

    I just had to take him in because I did not want anything to happen to him. I get wildlife is wildlife, but nothing is getting eaten alive under my watch!! He really is the cutest thing ever!!! Me and my fiance found a fledgling stuck down below in a window well, so we scooped it out and let it go. But it ran near another window well just so I covered that well up with some cardboard to keep the fledgling from falling in again. His parents are nearby, hopefully keeping an eye on him. And I left that basement window open, so hopefully he also gets a bit of heat from the house.

    May 24ish July 18, Branches too high for me to return or make nest for hatchling-nestling thrown from nest during high wind so took home. Stools were purplish and watery, eating only berries?? A little shade, food, water and protection from neighboring hawk might have been called for but I left. I fear she may have tried to follow me to location she had not been before. She was a beauty and funny! Hopefully, she made it despite my poor last decision.

    I miss her antics. Thank you for your patience and expertise, Cornell. It has been an education! Have a birdhouse in my yard, keeping an eye on them because twigs and bedding might have been too much for them as one appeared too close to falling out of opening. Come home, and two baby birds fell in grass under house. Placed them back inside gently, can I remove some twigs?