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My wife likes to put wreaths on the front door. Birds built a nest in it and now we have 4 little eggs. I am not sure what we do when they hatch. We might have to go through the garage for a while
 

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Cool...If me, I would document .....take pics and do whatever it takes to not disturb. Any idea about the birds?? Good luck and update is a must!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool...If me, I would document .....take pics and do whatever it takes to not disturb. Any idea about the birds?? Good luck and update is a must!!
I really dont know my bird varieties. The mommy is normally sitting on the eggs. If you even go near the door she sees your shadow and flees. Any idea how long it take for a baby bird to leave the nest once hatched? One interesting thing you can see in the photo is there are 3 small white eggs and a larger specked egg. Not sure what's up with that
 

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One interesting thing you can see in the photo is there are 3 small white eggs and a larger specked egg. Not sure what's up with that
Pulling from old memory here but isn't there some "nuisance" bird that lays one egg in the nest of another? That hatchling is bigger, demands all the food and pushes the others from the nest.

Edit: Searched and found this on the Cowbird: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown-headed_Cowbird/id
Damn thing lays an egg and forces another couple to raise it for them. What a parasite.

From the article: "Even though Brown-headed Cowbirds are native to North America, many people consider them a nuisance bird, since they destroy the eggs and young of smaller songbirds and have been implicated in the decline of several endangered species."
 

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Cowbird. It is a parasite that lays its eggs in other bird's nest. It will kill the other three chicks and the parents will wind up feeding it instead.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown-headed_Cowbird/id

Ain't nature grand?

I won't tell you what to do, but a lot of people advocate it.
 

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I really dont know my bird varieties. The mommy is normally sitting on the eggs. If you even go near the door she sees your shadow and flees. Any idea how long it take for a baby bird to leave the nest once hatched? One interesting thing you can see in the photo is there are 3 small white eggs and a larger specked egg. Not sure what's up with that
Hatching and fledging time varies greatly between species. Can you describe the adult bird at all? Cowbirds are "brood parasites" on many species (over 200 different ones documented). Robin's eggs are usually blue, so you have something else.
 

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The legit eggs are probably a house finch's, or possibly a house sparrow.
 

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Gross, I'd crush all four of those eggs and burn the nest.

Otherwise you'll be faced with a disgusting pile of bird crap on your porch and a chance that any of the tons of bugs that infest bird feathers might make it into your house.

I'm only half joking. After a season watching a nest of sparrows mature on our front porch we decided never to let another nest be built on our house.
 

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That cowbird egg would be out of there if it was me.
 

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As somebody who likes to create a seasonal wreath for the front door every now and then, tell your wife she's setting the bar a bit high for the rest of us!! :p

Looks like you got useful info already. Sounds like the odd egg is like a time bomb.
 

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The legit eggs are probably a house finch's, or possibly a house sparrow.
Both of which are introduced species where Dave lives, if that matters. The house finch is native to western North America, and the house sparrow is from Europe.

Personally, I'd just watch the nest and enjoy the nature spectacle.
 

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It'd be a moral dilemma here for me... there are probably plenty of both species flying around and if the whole nest was destroyed it wouldn't upset the balance of nature. But I'd be inclined to let the chicks grow before removing the nest.

Now the cowbird thing is part of nature, but letting it happen on my doorstep? If you've been chosen to be guardians of this nest, can you really stomach letting that happen?

I'd post the nest on some bird forum to get confirmation (although that 4th egg clearly looks different) and destroy the "cowbird" egg myself in the end.

EDIT: Did search for cowbird egg in nest on Interwebs and looks EXACTLY like your situation.

2nd EDIT: Apparently it is likely illegal to remove the cowbird egg.

3rd EDIT: The plot thickens... if the cowbird egg is removed (some of the host species recognize the bad egg and reject it), cowbird sometimes retaliates by destroying the whole nest. Also the baby cowbird does not necessarily kill it's "siblings" although often this ends up the case... man, what to do?
 

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Now the cowbird thing is part of nature, but letting it happen on my doorstep? If you've been chosen to be guardians of this nest, can you really stomach letting that happen?
Chosen? Who chose you? Guardian? A bird just built a nest in a convenient place.

man, what to do?
Sit back and watch. There's no moral dilemma. If you get emotional about the loss of an individual organism through a natural process, when the species is far from endangered (there may be a billion house finches in North America), then you're anthropomorphizing. I'm not one of those people who gets sad when I get the chance to see a natural predator doing its thing. I'm grateful that I got to observe one of the wonders of nature.

I'm not suggesting there's no moral issue in how animals are treated; I wouldn't approve of wanton and pointless killing. But choosing not to intervene in a natural process, no qualms there.
 

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Yeah unfortunately with some of the extra parts the human brain has that probably aren't totally necessary for survival, some of us get stuck doing silly things like anthropomorphizing, and believing in deities and stuff.

Plus I'm the mushy enough type to let the new kid that has entered my family in the last few months alter my perspective as well. There's one picture on the web of a fat and happy brown cowbird chick in the nest with some starving-and-about-to-die other chicks that just kind of sucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Chosen? Who chose you? Guardian? A bird just built a nest in a convenient place.


Sit back and watch. There's no moral dilemma. If you get emotional about the loss of an individual organism through a natural process, when the species is far from endangered (there may be a billion house finches in North America), then you're anthropomorphizing. I'm not one of those people who gets sad when I get the chance to see a natural predator doing its thing. I'm grateful that I got to observe one of the wonders of nature.

I'm not suggesting there's no moral issue in how animals are treated; I wouldn't approve of wanton and pointless killing. But choosing not to intervene in a natural process, no qualms there.
If it weren't on my door, I would probable let nature decide. Not wanting dead babies on my porch (and a freaked out wife and daughter) and knowing that the cowbirds behavior is kinda dooshey I think I will remove it.
 

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Yeah unfortunately with some of the extra parts the human brain has that probably aren't totally necessary for survival, some of us get stuck doing silly things like anthropomorphizing, and believing in deities and stuff.

Plus I'm the mushy enough type to let the new kid that has entered my family in the last few months alter my perspective as well. There's one picture on the web of a fat and happy brown cowbird chick in the nest with some starving-and-about-to-die other chicks that just kind of sucks.
Understood, and I meant no criticism. I'm probably more mushy and sentimental than the average guy, and plenty of things make me emotional. And though my kids are more or less grown now, I still feel all those things.

But, a baby bird is not a baby. And the principal emotion I feel when observing nature is overwhelming wonder.

I have pretty much gotten over that deity business, though, I guess. ;-)

Anyway, interesting discussion. It sounds like Dave has decided to abort the cowbird. Wouldn't be my choice, but no big deal either way. I don't fully understand the impulse that says it's better to kill the individual of one species rather than let it kill the individuals of another, unless you're anthropomorphically attributing human motives to the cowbird, making its actions "evil" in some way. That is a kind of thinking I try to avoid.
 

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If it weren't on my door, I would probable let nature decide. Not wanting dead babies on my porch (and a freaked out wife and daughter) and knowing that the cowbirds behavior is kinda dooshey I think I will remove it.
The mother Cowbird may retaliate if you do that. Not saying it will happen but researchers have seen Cowbirds return to nests and "ransack" them when they see their egg has been removed from the nest. I read an article in which it was stated that researchers have noted that mother Cowbirds apparently pay attention to which nest their eggs are most successful in.
 
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