Let the Nesting Begin

19 May, 2019

It’s finally here! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Nesting time is finally here!

I’ve begun to notice a few bird species nesting in and around my yard this past week. The first nest that I found was a Red-bellied Woodpecker ( ). It is right outside the door of my garage. I wouldn’t have noticed it if the adults hadn’t shown me where it is.

As I sat on the porch one afternoon conducting a little count, I noticed that a Red-bellied Woodpecker kept vocalizing in a tree near me. It would fly off and shortly return and then repeat. I decided to watch the bird a little closer, thinking that I might get to witness it excavating a nesting hole (a behavior that I have yet to witness). Soon I realized that this wasn’t the same woodpecker each time and that there was already a hole bored into the tree.

I focused the camera on the hole that I had just found and began snapping photos. It was amazing to watch as the parents took turns supplying food to their young. Having such a good camera at the time and after getting all of the photos that I wanted, I decided that it might be a good idea to take a video of the behavior that I was getting the opportunity to witness.

Later in the week, while I was weed-eating, a Tufted Titmouse ( ) displayed some territorial behavior towards me. After finishing the job and putting the yard tool away, I returned to the tree where the Titmouse had come from to scold me, but couldn’t find a spot where it was nesting.

I walked over to another tree in my yard just to check it out and found an American Robin (Turdus migratorious) sitting on a nest there. I ran into the house to grab my binoculars and camera and came back to take some photos from a safe distance.

Whenever you are photographing or even just watching nesting birds, always remember to keep a good distance from the nesting site so that the bird doesn’t feel threatened. Any time spent scolding you or performing distraction displays is time not spent on the eggs incubating. Too much human presence can also cause birds to abandon nests and try again in a different spot or cause unnecessary predation of the nest.

Photos and Links

Red-bellied Woodpeckers feeding nestlings (video).

A male Red-bellied Woodpecker bringing food to his nestlings
Off to find more food for the screaming young
The female Red-bellied Woodpecker taking her turn
American Robin sitting on a nest

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