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Baby Birds On My Porch

Updated on May 19, 2013

Welcome To My Porch

Back, not too long ago, people had front porches. They were a place of gathering. People would sit on their porches and wave at the cars going by or talk with the neighbor down the street. They were a place of getting to know one another and spending that quality time with your family. I often find myself sitting on the front porch bench and watching the kids play. I try to make my porch look nice with lovely potted plants. I added a few hanging pots, as I have every year, and I discovered something inside. I guess we were not the only ones hanging out on the porch.

*photos are of my porch. Come sit a spell.

What's This? - I guess someone thought my flowers were pretty too!

I went to water the hanging pots one morning and I found bits of grass in my petunias. Hey! At first I wanted to pluck it out, but then I realized that it was the beginning of a nest. I gave my flowers a good watering and left the porch so my visitor could get to work. It was not long before she had her nest built. I think she did a pretty good job too. The nest has to be a good 4 inches deep. I think the babies will be just fine all nestled in my hanging basket. I carefully took the basket down while mom was away to inspect her work. The kids enjoyed seeing the eggs and are eagerly waiting on them to hatch.

I got a glimpse of mom a few days later. Boy is she fast! I caught mostly brown as she flew by and appeared to be a small bird. I went online to do some investigating because that's how we learn here. You see I home school my 7 year old and 3 year old. Every moment is a teaching experience. I just knew that finding out the breed would lead us into so many teachable moments. While on the internet, I searched through a couple of bird identification programs. I have the breed narrowed down to a sparrow. I do think the most likely breed is the common House Sparrow.

Everyone Gets Along On The Front Porch

Everyone Gets Along On The Front Porch
Everyone Gets Along On The Front Porch

Did You Know?

It is legal to kill House Sparrows. They are considered pests because they destroy the nests of Blue Birds. I just don't have the heart to do it. We enjoy our little nest too much!

How I Identified Our Bird Friend.

I basically hopped onto a website that allowed me to narrow down my search for our little guest. It didn't take much time to narrow the field down to sparrows.

When identifying a bird, you should observe:

The location of the bird

How long its legs are

How long its beak is

The shape of the beak

Flight patterns

Bird Call

Feather Pattern

Wing Shape

Tail Shape

All this and more can be found on Whatbird.com. You can also use a taxonomy book for identification. There are several online resources that you can use to find out more about your local birds.

I'm not getting off this porch.  You can't make me.
I'm not getting off this porch. You can't make me.

Updates On Our Baby Birds

May 1

This section will be updated as soon as the babies hatch. Did you know that sparrows hatch in 8 days? I had no idea. They also leave the nest within 2 weeks. My big concern is what to do to keep the cat away from the babies! He has been coming inside a lot, so I'll just keep him in while the babies fly off.

A few things to remember about baby birds- if you find one, please leave it as is. Mom will come by to take care of her baby. If you feel they are too vulnerable, you may want to pick them up and put them in the nearest safe branch. Don't feel guilty by doing so. Nature takes care of itself, and you may not be able to save the baby anyway. It takes a lot of work to care for a baby animal. You may have to get a permit to do so. If all else fails, you can call to find your nearest wildlife rehabilitator. They have the training needed to raise wild animals and will help ensure the best chances for any baby.

Wild Violets in my yard.
Wild Violets in my yard.

Eagerly Waiting For Baby Birds

May 2

I was beginning to worry that momma bird had abandoned her nest because of all the going in and out the front door. My kids have been playing outdoors a lot since the weather is nice. I went out this morning to water the plants, and she flew out of the basket. I was relieved and I got a better look at her. She is mostly brown with little streaks around her face. I wish I could get a picture of her, but she is very small and fast! Another thing is that I've discovered just how ingenious her nest area is. At night, we keep our porch light on which leads to bugs being attracted to the light. You know what? That makes for a perfect bird buffet! Mom has shelter and food right there on our porch. I will keep checking back for little peeps, but I did not notice any this morning.

Get A Closer Look At The Birds In Your Yard

I need to buy some for Eagle Days at our local State Park!

May 3 A Day Of Learning

Ok Momma Bird is still faithfully sitting on her nest. We know this because she put up such a racket and started flying all over the porch when Rusty Cat made an appearance. She did not like having a big orange predator near her babies obviously. Today we began science lessons by reading about Bewick Wrens and watching You Tube videos. What little kid does not like watching baby animals? Normally, we watch videos on the computer, but it was starting to feel a little cramped with the kids on each side of me. My husband and I thought we would try out a streaming device. The one we got is called a Roku . We can get free movies and TV shows, but I really like some of the apps. I've been saving videos like crazy and using them for school. Instead of using the computer, we've been watching You Tube videos on the TV.

Now you do have to watch how much TV your child watches, but there are really a lot of great educational videos and classes online. I feel like we've had a good day in science class, and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

I wanted to update you from the weekend. I am terribly exhausted, and I have not had a chance to check on Momma Bird. I will check in with her tomorrow to see how things are progressing. The kids are still enjoying the thought of babies, but we had a fun and tiresome weekend from helping out with this organization.

Bird Lesson Plans

Use this page and more to learn about nature and the birds around us.

May 6

A sad day today. We had bad storms last night. I went to check on the nest to find it soaking wet with no eggs to be found. I don't know if the wind blew them out or what. I was so ready to see babies! I also went today to clean house for a missionary family. It had been 2 weeks since I had been there last. I opened the front door to find a dead bird in the house. I placed it outside and picked up the mess it had made trying to escape. Poor thing flew trying to get out the window.

Come Back Now Ya Here?

Come Back Now Ya Here?
Come Back Now Ya Here?

Do You Bird Watch For Fun?

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    • Shorebirdie profile image

      Shorebirdie 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      Aww, that's too bad about the eggs. We've had eggs go missing in some of our nests, too. I like Bewicks wrens, they have a pretty song.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      My sister had a wren starting a nest in a large wreath on her front porch. Such a treat to watch. Sad that your nest didn't survive the storm.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      What a beautiful and heart-warming lens!

    • profile image

      SunshineLollipops 5 years ago

      I had birds build nests in my hanging flower pots on my front porch as well. Several years in a row this happened. It was so fun to watch the progress and see the baby birds hatch. It was crazy to have to ditch the fast flying birds to water the flowers though. I am in another home now and have a nest at the top of a pillar on my front porch this spring and have been watching this bird family as well. So fun. Great lens!

    • kindoak profile image

      kindoak 5 years ago

      Sweet story. I live near open woodland so all the birds nest there. I hear them though :)

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      Yes, I have been watching more and more lately. I almost never leave the house without my camera just in case an interesting bird shows up somehwere.

      I like the idea of front porches but have a back porch instead. I guess I can wave at the birds instead.

    • profile image

      klaird 5 years ago

      My mom has quail that nest in her potted plants every year on her back patio.

    • profile image

      AngryBaker 5 years ago

      wishing I had a porch. Your story makes me smile