Peeps and Cheaps

A pair of starlings built a nest, not too long ago, in a forgotten clothespin basket on the back porch of the Poole Ancestral Homestead. About two weeks ago, their eggs hatched, and this past Friday afternoon, the nestlings started to fledge. Needless to say, it was a loud and raucous event. Here are some photos I snapped. However, the fledging event caught me off guard, and what photos I was able to capture had to be taken through a screen door, so not all came out clearly:

Birds in a basket

Peeps in a basket -- just the day before they fledged.

More birds in a basket

Peeps in a basket -- up close and personal.

Bird with mouth open

“I’m hungry, darn it! Feed me now!”

Bird feeding

Both parents were constantly feeding the young’ins.

Bird looking out of nest

Time to blow this joint…

Fledglings fledged

“So long, and thanks for all the bugs…”

Fledgling on the ground

Fledgling on the ground — “Run away! Run away!”

There were six fledglings altogether. Four of them left the nest after the first one (the boldest and loudest of all) finally jumped and took off. Two remained behind, however. The parents continued to feed the two stragglers while also tending to the rest of the brood out in the yard, where they apparently all took up in the vicinity of a small grove, just about ten or fifteen yards from the house.

But on Sunday, I “evicted” the two remaining fledglings, by tapping the nest a bit and stirring them enough to jump out. One hid under a small table on the porch. I caught the other and brought it over to the grove and released it. Then I went back and found the remaining bird, and, after finally getting it to perch on my finger, carried it over to the grove, where it hesitated to let go of me, but finally jumped and scampered. The parents appeared about fifteen minutes later, after I distanced myself from the area, and soon located the two stragglers and went to them.

Hopefully, they’ll all be fending for themselves in a few more days, and maybe I’ll even have an opportunity to see some of the grown birds in the yard. But that clothespin basket has got to go! :-)

About John Poole

My interests include historic homes, architectural preservation and restoration, improving the energy performance of old houses, and traditional timber frames.
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One Response to Peeps and Cheaps

  1. John Poole says:

    Well, I was just lucky to be nearby and have my camera in reach when they all started to bolt! It all happened pretty quickly, except for the two who decided to stay behind. I couldn’t figure out why they didn’t want to leave, and then it occurred to me: Free food, and now there’s all this room; why go anywhere? ;-)

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