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Morbo
04-28-2006, 05:29 PM
I discovered a bird's nest had recently been built on my front porch. It's about the size of a dinner plate, about three inches deep, and has mown grass shavings surrounding a mud-like interior. I have no idea what kind of bird made it - I've never seen it, and know as much about birds as I do about cooking. IOW, nothing.

I climbed onto the railing and there's no eggs in there. My question is, should I destroy it? I don't want noisy birds swarming around my front porch, nor do I want bird poop everywhere. Since I don't know what kind of bird made it, I'm assuming the worst - woodpeckers, crows, etc. Does anyone know what kind of bird I'm dealing with here based on my description?

If it winds up getting used, will the birds that hatch out of there imprint that this is a home they can use to create nests from this point forward, so I'm going to forever have birds making nests there?

Is this nest going to do some other form of harm to my porch that I haven't thought of - introduce termites or something? Conversely, are there benefits for me leaving it alone that I haven't thought of, other than the feel-good animal karma thing?

samm
04-28-2006, 05:46 PM
Can you post a picture of it? I'm having a hard time picturing a mud nest as big as a dinner plate. We have some barn swallows that make mud nests but they're quite small. Also, how, where, how high up is the nest attached? And what area of the world are you in? That might help people determine what kind of bird you might be dealing with! Or maybe you could just hang out somewhere in the house and watch for a bird to fly into it and the describe the bird?

Colibri
04-28-2006, 05:47 PM
If there are no eggs in it, and you feel that having birds nesting on your porch would be a nuisance, get rid of it. While they no doubt will be annoyed, the birds will just build another one somewhere else, and lay their eggs there. At this point, the birds have relatively little investment and can be disuaded to move readily, and will be able to start over again with some chance of success this season. It will be harder once they have eggs, and very difficult if the young hatch out (though of course it would be cruel to destroy it at that stage). If they try to re-build, get rid of it as soon as possible, and they will eventually get the message. Once they have been successful in raising a brood in a location, they will be more likely to use the same spot again.

I don't know offhand what kind of nest it is from the description.

scotandrsn
04-28-2006, 06:09 PM
I would get rid of it, just in case it has a chance of getting used again this season.

While the avian flu (the one that will have mutated to jump directly from human to human) that is causing alarm about our emergency health readiness is an unguaranteed part of an uncertain future, the existing bird flu which CAN jump from bird to human and possibly kill you is thriving and migrating this year.

You don't need to get any closer to it than absolutely necessary.

Colibri
04-28-2006, 06:20 PM
the existing bird flu which CAN jump from bird to human and possibly kill you is thriving and migrating this year.

Not in North America, or anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, at least not yet. There have been no reports of avian flu in wild birds, domestic poultry, or humans in North America to date.

Even where avian flu exists, I am not aware of any transmission between wild birds and people. So far, human cases have been due to close contact with sick or dead domestic poultry, not to wild birds. As long as you don't make a habit of playing with dead chickens or ducks, chances of getting avian flu are extremely remote.

Morbo
04-28-2006, 06:33 PM
Can you post a picture of it? I'm having a hard time picturing a mud nest as big as a dinner plate. We have some barn swallows that make mud nests but they're quite small. Also, how, where, how high up is the nest attached? And what area of the world are you in? That might help people determine what kind of bird you might be dealing with! Or maybe you could just hang out somewhere in the house and watch for a bird to fly into it and the describe the bird?

:smack: Yes, that would be helpful, wouldn't it? Here's (http://homepage.mac.com/philbro/FileSharing2.html) three pictures of it. I live in Portland, OR.

Thanks for the advice Colibri. Right now my thinking is that I hesitate to get rid of it, but then again I'm not sure what kind of nuisance this is going to be for me. Sounds like the bird won't mind too much, so maybe I'll just toss it.

(Of course, now that I've posted pictures you're going to tell me it's endangered, I can't remove it, and you've contacted the proper authorities :)).

Lissa
04-28-2006, 09:25 PM
Here's three pictures of it. I live in Portland, OR..

Jesus, that's a big nest!

A woodpecker is a smaller bird-- it wouldn't need such a big nest to contain its young, and unless you have some big-assed crows, I'd guess the same thing for that species.

I've never seen anything quite like it.

I'm voting that you keep it just to see what hatches. You may have a nest of pterodactyls.

Colibri
04-28-2006, 10:40 PM
Sounds like the bird won't mind too much, so maybe I'll just toss it.

The bird is going to be pissed off as hell after doing all that work, but it won't do it any permanent harm.

It's definitely not a woodpecker nest, since they only nest in holes they excavate themselves. It's also not a crow nest, since they normally build bulky stick nests in trees. I'm not sure what it is, though.

Lissa
04-28-2006, 10:50 PM
It's definitely not a woodpecker nest, since they only nest in holes they excavate themselves. It's also not a crow nest, since they normally build bulky stick nests in trees. I'm not sure what it is, though.

So, you're saying it really could be a pterodactyl? :D

Don't tear it dow, please, Dooku. Yeah, there'll be a mess, but you could put a cardboard box to catch it and throw it out when the hatchlings leave. It'd be so cool to see what hatches.

(Though, admittedly, it's a big bird's nest, indicating that Momma Bird is probly sizable herself, and some birds are aggressive in guarding their young.)

Colibri
04-28-2006, 11:10 PM
After looking around I bit, I think it's probably just the nest of an American Robin, although a rather bulky one. They often line the nest with mud.

Guinastasia
04-28-2006, 11:13 PM
I vote to keep it-when I was in high school we had some birds build their nest in my mother's hanging plant on our front porch. Those little babies sure were cute.

Metacom
04-28-2006, 11:17 PM
Right now my thinking is that I hesitate to get rid of it, but then again I'm not sure what kind of nuisance this is going to be for me.
I have three nests on my house, two on my back porch and one on my front. Other then the small pile of droppings (and a dead hatchling or two) under them and the occaisional chirping (which is only during daylight and doesn't bother me), there's no nuisance. The droppings washed away easily with a garden hose.

The ones on the back porch were here last year, and I kind of liked seeing them come back and refurbish their old nest this year.

astro
04-28-2006, 11:23 PM
After looking around I bit, I think it's probably just the nest of an American Robin, although a rather bulky one. They often line the nest with mud.


Robin's nests (http://www.backyardwildlifehabitat.info/robinstory.htm)

Morbo
04-28-2006, 11:35 PM
OK. On behalf of the SDMB, I'll leave it there. We can adopt them - I'll post updated pictures - the mom, maybe a shot of the eggs if they show up, then maybe some pictures of the babies once they hatch. We can name them - I'm thinking Colibri and Cecil for sure...what about the mother?

Lissa
04-29-2006, 01:06 AM
OK. On behalf of the SDMB, I'll leave it there. We can adopt them - I'll post updated pictures - the mom, maybe a shot of the eggs if they show up, then maybe some pictures of the babies once they hatch. We can name them - I'm thinking Colibri and Cecil for sure...what about the mother?

Well, since I'm the one who begged for the nest to be spared . . .

This is the second nest this spring that I've begged to be preserved. At work, they wanted to tear down a nest outside one of the exhibit windows. (This one is a robin. I saw the mother.) I begged my boss, pledged to clean up poop and generally made a nuisance of myself until he capitulated.

Morbo
04-29-2006, 02:37 AM
Well, since I'm the one who begged for the nest to be spared . . .

This is the second nest this spring that I've begged to be preserved. At work, they wanted to tear down a nest outside one of the exhibit windows. (This one is a robin. I saw the mother.) I begged my boss, pledged to clean up poop and generally made a nuisance of myself until he capitulated.

You win. Lissa is the mother. I'll try and get a picture, and I'll start an MPSIMS thread to track all this.

One question: can someone recommend a site for hosting the pictures? My mac.com account is a temporary work one, so I probably shouldn't host stuff therr long-term.

Lsura
04-29-2006, 06:24 AM
One question: can someone recommend a site for hosting the pictures? My mac.com account is a temporary work one, so I probably shouldn't host stuff therr long-term.


I use the flickr (http://www.flickr.com) free account - I should probably upgrade to pro at some point, so I can upload more pictures during a month, but I haven't yet been highly motivated to do so.


As far as birdsnests go, we've got one outside MPOW. We've learned that it's a red-shouldered hawk (http://www.maag.ysu.edu/about/hawk_pictures.html).

Baker
04-29-2006, 07:01 AM
If you like to watch birds the following link in interesting.

http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml;jsessionid=HQSCPDLO3C3G3FW4FBCXWEMW1YUEQ4L4?pq-path=2017&CID=go&idhbx=birdcam&pq-locale=en_US&_requestid=12286

About ten years ago a nesting box was placed high on the side of the Kodak headquarters building in Rochester, New York. Since that time a pair of peregrine falcons have made it their home. The female, named Mariah, has had two mates, the current on being Kaver.
Kodak rigged up a series of cameras so the birds can be watched 24/7. The picture refreshes every minute or so.

Up until last year there were a lot more features at the website, including a photo archive, a message board for falcon fans, and a banding day party for local school children. But this year it's mostly just the pictures, with a couple of information pages on the history of the birds.

The past two years Mariah and Kaver set a record for raising five chicks(called eyases) to adulthood each year. Three or four is more usual for peregrines. This year there are six eggs, so nobody knows what will happen. It's a big burden for only two parents.

What's fun is to play "What's the prey?" when you see something messy brought in to feed the young.

twickster
04-29-2006, 07:16 AM
What's fun is to play "What's the prey?" when you see something messy brought in to feed the young.

That's my twin! :D

Quartz
04-29-2006, 08:51 AM
In the U.K. it's usually illegal to destroy an active nest. See http://www.rspb.org.uk/gardens/advice/whatsintheroof/law.asp and http://www.rspb.org.uk/gardens/advice/whatsintheroof/removal.asp

Morbo
05-10-2006, 02:17 PM
Well, damn. Two weeks, and still no eggs in it. I guess it's been abandoned?

Colibri
05-10-2006, 02:48 PM
Well, damn. Two weeks, and still no eggs in it. I guess it's been abandoned?

Have you seen a bird go in to it? I would think the female would lay pretty soon after completing the nest, and it looked pretty close to being finished to me. If you haven't noticed birds going to the nest to work on it, and there are no eggs, then it's probably abandoned.

Morbo
05-10-2006, 03:05 PM
Have you seen a bird go in to it? I would think the female would lay pretty soon after completing the nest, and it looked pretty close to being finished to me. If you haven't noticed birds going to the nest to work on it, and there are no eggs, then it's probably abandoned.

Sigh. No, I never did see any bird go into it - I was at least hoping to find out what kind of bird built the nest. (Although Robin seems the most likely).

Oh well. I feel so alone...like someone who's children are all in college now....I wish there were a name for this sensation. :)

Gatopescado
05-10-2006, 08:05 PM
Trash it! Nothing worse that bird offal all over your welcome mat. Not just a good idea, but an afternoon of fun and entertainment!

I've had to do this a number of times in my garage. I would be content to let them stay, but they always shit on the BMW and the classic motorcycles. So they must die. I capped the cuteist little red-headed finchy guy and his mate last week. Almost brought a tear to my eye, till I walked over to the GB500 and saw big white splats of crap on the freshly waxed tank.