Big Day on a Tiny Island

10,000 Birds

We made the executive decision to abandon that trail and try another – one which proved incredibly fruitful. At the start of this new trail we accidentally flushed a White-tailed Nightjar that was sitting on a lone pink egg.

And So It Begins

10,000 Birds

and Canada, it had apparently discovered an abandoned nest, on which it was clearly showing nesting behavior. In spite of our proximity, it spent a good while positioned as if it had eggs there. I can’t resist loving my first week of birding each year.

Flycatchers in the Cocoa

10,000 Birds

Targeting a nest that is just approaching completion, the flycatchers persistently annoy the builders until they eventually abandon the nest. When out birding, I prefer completely wild habitat. There is something about a mature rainforest, for example, that cannot be replicated by any human.

How to find the Ural Owl in Serbia

10,000 Birds

Egg-laying starts in late March to early April and they remain in the vicinity till early June.

Snowy Plover Chicks on Okaloosa Island

10,000 Birds

If we had been predators, their actions would have (hopefully) led us away from the nest, keeping their eggs and chicks safe. Next to it lay an egg, the baby inside fervently pecking and tapping until it too could break the shell and emerge onto the dunes. In another area – near an abandoned military building – a pair of Killdeer had nested next to the remnants of a dirt road. While not as adorable as chicks, I still love to see bird eggs!

2016 40

The Endangered Andean Flamingo

10,000 Birds

Egg harvesting to sell as food was intensive then, with thousands taken annually from the breeding colonies in Chile. These breeding colonies included other species of flamingos, but it was only the Andean Flamingo that appeared to have been the most affected, if indeed the egg extraction was one of the causes that led to the Andean Flamingo’s population decline. Egg collection for local consumption still continues at lower scale.

2015 54

The Juniper Titmouse Nesting Project

10,000 Birds

But a Bewick’s Wren did build a nest, which it promptly abandoned before laying any eggs. The Juniper Titmouse ( Baeolophus ridgwayi ) is a passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. The American Ornithologists’ Union split the Plain Titmouse ( Parus inornatus ) into the Oak Titmouse and the Juniper Titmouse in 1996, due to distinct differences in song, preferred habitat, and genetic makeup. The featured image above is a Creative Commons (CC) photo from Rich Hoeg.

2018 54

Common Mergansers or Goosanders Frolicking on Clear Creek

10,000 Birds

The female chooses the nest site, builds the nest, lays around 10 eggs over a two week period and incubates them for about a month. After doing all this pretty much by themselves, the females abandon the young before they can fly, usually 30 to 50 days after they hatch.

2011 57

Urban birds, urban birding… is there a future?

10,000 Birds

Nowadays, it has a feeling of an abandoned construction site. There is not a slightest trace of asphalt, nor the promised sewage ponds, which may be good for the two Little Ringed Plover families incubating their eggs at the site as we speak, but is far from good for the people living there.

2018 59

The Everglade Snail Kite Is Making a Comeback

10,000 Birds

Native snails lay 20-50 eggs at a time during the spring. Exotic snails lay 300-500 eggs at a time, lay eggs throughout the year, and are more resistant to environmental changes. Eggs of the native apple snail (left), and the exotic apple snail (right). Adult kites are also known to abandon their chicks when they are unable to find enough food for the chicks and themselves.

2013 72

The Brown and Peruvian Pelicans

10,000 Birds

Some pesticides killed pelicans directly, while DDT contamination led to thin-shelled eggs that broke under the weight of the parents. Abandoned fishing line also threatens pelicans along with many marine animals. The Brown Pelican and the Peruvian Pelican are closely related and once were considered the same species. They are indeed very similar in all plumage stages, but the Peruvian Pelican is nearly twice as big as its northern counterpart.

Parental Investment Theory

10,000 Birds

Both Elk and songbirds have the same basic method of inseminating eggs, which is one of the steps in reproduction (but not by any means the first!), Songbirds grow the offspring internally for only a very short while, and then pop out an egg, which is then cared for over a significant period of time until it hatches. In songbirds, by contrast, both the male and female can contribute equally to the very important job of incubating and protecting the egg.

2012 57

Manx Shearwaters

10,000 Birds

As a youngster of 10-weeks old, it is abandoned by its parents and left to fend for itself. After mating, a single egg is laid and incubation duties are shared by both parents. The long shifts before swapping duties reduce the number of times that the birds have to run the gauntlet of the gulls and increase their chances of succesfully raising the chick to the age of abandonment. You have got to admire the Manx Shearwater.

2011 56

Fledgling Barred Warbler

10,000 Birds

They are often raised by single mothers after their deadbeat dads disappear: Once the pair have mated, the female lays a clutch of three to six eggs and the male bird may abandon the female to take-up a new territory, in attempt to mate with additional females. When the adult male bird has more than one mate, the femaleincubates the eggs and tends to the chicks alone.

2012 58

Come@Me: Don’t Mourn for Extinct Birds

10,000 Birds

The Zoo episode focuses on two Pink Pigeon couples: The Stud and Serendipity, a male and female that the zoo people hope will mate and produce a viable egg, and Thelma and Louise, a same-sex pair-bonded couple who the zoo people hope will incubate the egg and nurture the chick. This description appears to be an overstatement though, because we learn by the end of the episode that The Stud and Serendipity have not produced one viable egg.

2018 40

Lest we Forget – BP Oil Spill 2010

10,000 Birds

The babies that hatched from these eggs were released on Florida’s east coast. This week marks the 2-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. On April 20th 2010, the world received news that eleven men working on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig died in an explosion on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. What the world did not know was the unthinkable scale of the disaster to follow.

2010 76

How To Help A Baby Bird

10,000 Birds

When that isn’t possible, many raptor rehabbers keep tabs on nests and will place an abandon chick in a foster nest. Sometimes females have eggs to lay but no nest and the eggs can end up anywhere from other duck and goose nests…there was even a case in Minnesota where a Canada Goose laid an egg in an Osprey nest and the raptors incubated and hatched it ! It’s a common call/email/text that most bird watchers get this time of year: “HELP!

2011 84


10,000 Birds

It’s often considered wasteful that so many nests are abandoned and left to degenerate, but my theory of one of the reasons for this behavior is related to predation. African Harrier-Hawks, snakes and other predators frequently raid weaver colonies to rob the nests of eggs and chicks. Weavers are truly magical birds, combining bright plumages with ingenious weaving talents and cheerful, noisy social lives.

2012 73