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Taking care of our Dark-eyed Junco's nest

We have been doing a lot of work in the backyard. It is not big by any means but it is packed with life...and death. If you listen closely you can hear the screams of aphids as they get eaten alive by the ladybugs. Music to my ears. *Blissful sigh*

I noticed these cute little puffy birds visiting regularly looking for seeds. I decided to get a mini picnic table to use as a place to put a tiny plate of bird seeds on. Super cute. I did some research and found out they are Oregon dark-eyed juncos. They seem to love their table and get along with the hummingbirds since they don't compete for the same food.

Not too long ago there was a heatwave in Oregon. It got about 115° F one day. Being born in Arizona plus living in the Philippines for 12 years. The heatwave was nothing but everyone and everything around me melting or burning to a crisp concerned me.

I misted the garden just to keep it for being too damaged. Whenever I would mist my marigolds a junco would fly out. I figured it was just trying to find a cool spot with shade. Happened 3 times and I got suspicious. I looked in the middle of my marigolds and found a nest with 3 little eggs in it. SQUEEEE!!!!!!

3 dark-eyed junco eggs white with brown speckles
Little Junco eggs! Taken June 29, 2021

Our yard has been chosen, people! What an honor! Super excited...until the horror of the fact that I have been watering a nest this whole time hit me. I just hoped I didn't shock them from going from hot to cold or accidentally soak them.

Did more reading about juncos on All About Birds. I love that site. Juncos nest on the ground. Not the safest place in my opinion but I am not a bird, I shall not judge their choices. They feed insects to their babies and the adults eat seed for the most part from what I gather. The incubation period for junco eggs is 11-13 days. I did not know when the eggs were laid but I found the nest on June 29.

Having an actual nest in my yard made a good reason to go and buy a birdbath and solar panel water fountain pump.




Dash the guard dog to keep cats away

We waited impatiently for our little eggs to hatch. I checked July 10 and boom there they were! Three fuzzy ugly cute baby birds!

By the way, if you want to know how nests stay so clean and you have a strong stomach (fair warning) watch this video: here

baby dark-eyed junco with beak wide open

We are hoping they will reach adulthood. They are so cute and fragile at this stage. The parents are surprisingly not afraid of us. We give them space but they will fly up pretty close to me when I am doing yard work.

Today, their eyes have opened and they look more like birds. Yesterday, July 14 their eyes were not open from what I remember. It still gets hot most days so I try to mist them if one of the parents is in the nest covering them or water around the nest if not.

I enjoy watching them grow but what is more impressive is the parents. The father's talent for catching bugs is incredible. He deserves an award! That is a massive and disgusting meal...

I am hoping to make more posts of them as they grow up and then I'll be an empty nester literally. Awwww...


1 Comment

Such a cool picture. How did he catch all those bugs??!

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