Baby birds, sadness and joy

Been a while without an update, basically in my post-Scotland comedown! But I thought it was worth a new post to look at what’s been happening with our garden birds.

I’ve kept you all updated with the progress with our wrens, and you hopefully remember we were hopeful of seeing them fledge. From knowing roughly when feeding had started, we expected fledging to occur in the region of 20-23 June. As the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday passed and feeding continued, we were hopeful they’d hang on to the weekend:


Wren collecting food for chicks


Wren collecting food for chicks

  We were keeping a close eye on the nest, and could even just about spot the babies leaning out (second picture):


Wren at converted Martin nest


Baby wren in converted martin nest

So we were hopeful of seeing the babies emerge Saturday or Sunday. Then we came home Friday night and… nothing. No noise, no adults bringing food in. They’d fledged. We had a look around to make sure they weren’t hiding in the garden, and ultimately tracked them to a tree a couple of gardens down, but never got a look. Having had them as ‘housemates’ since we moved in, it was a great disappointment, tempered by the pleasure that they’d obviously had breeding success to that point.

Fortunately, nature tends to give as much as it takes, and we had other babies to enjoy, including a species I’d never seen the chicks of:

Where has Dad gone?

In case you cannot identify these babies, here is Dad:

Male Bullfinch

Yes, they were baby Bullfinches. Three in total. They hung around for the next two or three days before wandering off.


Baby bullfinch


Baby bullfinch

They weren’t the only babies in the garden. We’ve had plenty of baby sparrows, plus these species:


Baby starling


Baby dunnock


Baby goldfinch

So while we missed the wrens, we’ve had others. We’ve also had both Blue and Great Tits,Wood Pigeons, and Collared Doves. I’m expecting robins before too long too.

I’ve been impressed at how robust many of these juveniles are. I’ve seen the goldfinches take on birds more than twice their size (one even saw off a pigeon!), and the starlings will fight off their own adult family when food is on the line.

Feel free to share any pictures, stories, of the baby animals in your garden.

A few more pics:


Primary consumer of the hedgehog nibbles


This looks sweet, but immediately afterwards the adult turfed the baby off the feeder!


Goldfinch watching the baby starling

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One Response to Baby birds, sadness and joy

  1. Pingback: 30 Days Wild – Day 13 – End of an era | Why watch wildlife?

I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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