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junco-eggs2-4-2014

Juncos built another nest in our boxwood bush by our back door, May 2014. There is no way to tell if these are the same Juncos that built a nest and laid 4 eggs in April. Each time these Juncos laid four speckled eggs, this year and last year. The eggs kind of blend with the nest. This nest is lower in the bush so I hope the babies will be protected from predators.

View of nest with four babies showing feathers on April 6, 2014

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Saturday morning April 7 I went out to look at the babies and the empty nest was on the ground. I felt devasted because some animal must have found the nest during the night or early morning. No sign of baby birds!

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The Junco pair is back again this year! They built a nest and laid four eggs in the same place in the boxwood bush by our back door. I’ve been checking the nest every day. We’ve had rain storms with more rain to come. Today one of the eggs hatched! You can see the open mouth of the little hatchling.

Looks like three of the eggs have hatched now. (later the same day)

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Dark-Eyed Juncos inhabit our backyard year round here in northern California. A few weeks ago every time I went out our sliding glass door to the backyard a Junco would fly around and up into a tree chirping and fluttering, chirping and fluttering. Often another Junco would also fly nearby. I was trying to figure out why the Junco was near our back door everyday. I knew that birds often fly around and chirp to attract attention away from a nest or babies but I didn’t see any nests.

Well, guess what? I finally found a little nest in the boxwood bush by our back door. The nest was on the back side of the bush and concealed from sight. There were four little speckled eggs in the nest.

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A few days later the eggs hatched and here is a picture of the baby birds. I had hoped to get a photo of the birds moving around, with their mouths open begging for food, or chirping. However, this is the only photo I got of the newly hatched birds. I didn’t want to disturb the new hatchlings so I waited a couple of days before checking the nest again.

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And guess what? The nest was empty! I couldn’t find any trace of the baby birds or the broken egg shells. I hope the birds were mature enough to fledge the nest and not taken by night predators.

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These are photos of the parent Juncos.

junco-adult-parent    junco-parent   junco-parents

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