Somewhere around June 13thit was pointed out that there was a bird’s nest on our Hydro box. Well, that was exciting! Especially since it wasn’t a robin. We’re used to robins’ nests in odd places.
What it was the nest of, though, wasn’t clear. It wasn’t that we didn’t see a bird in the nest, sitting on the eggs. We did. It was just that she or he sank herself right down so far into it that all you could see was an eye. I even set up a seven-foot stepladder nearby and went up with binos to see if I could get a better look from a higher perspective. Nope, she just went flatter.
But I did manage to determine that the plumage on her back was a kind of olive-greeny brown, and so off I went to my bird books looking for something that was that colour. Eventually I decided that it was most likely to be a flycatcher, and in fact later I was able to confirm this.
So! Babies! They didn’t seem to be too perturbed by my presence (the nest was next to a frequently-used door) so I set the stepladder up a bit closer, and after I figured something had hatched I went up it every day and took baby pictures. And here they are.
July2: I put my head up and said, “Hi birds!” and they said bugger that and flew off, looking like they’d been flying for years.
Now, if you’re more perceptive than I am, and not seeing just what you expected to see, you may have noticed something about the babies. In particular, about Big Bird.
THAT IS NOT A FLYCATCHER.
I feel pretty embarrassed by my denseness and that I could watch all that time without seeing what was going on. Of course the difference in size was obvious, but I just assumed that egg was laid earlier than the others. But you think I’d have noticed the difference in appearance, except that of course I assumed that it was just older and had developed faster. And the other chicks hadn’t fledged at the same time it had, And I never actually looked at my pictures at the same time till I started putting this blog post together.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure it’s a cowbird chick. They are certainly around, and they’re known for parasitizing other birds’ nests. But I’ve never seen it happen before.