I live on Vancouver Island (Western Canada) and I just wanted to thank you for this post. “Whoa,” I said. She will incubate the eggs for 12-13 days, and the young Dark-Eyed Juncos will leave the nest in 9-12 days after hatching to embark on their own lives. I approached to flush him, and there was the nest. The nest with four eggs in it that I mentioned previously is, one month later, still four eggs. (I actually think they’re adorable, but I know not everyone will agree.) RARR got very puffy, although it wasn’t cold out. ( Log Out / Dark-eyed Juncos breed in forests across much of North America and at elevations ranging from sea level to more than 11,000 feet. The longer you can keep the cat in, the better their chances will be. Hi, thanks for your comment and thanks for thinking of the welfare of the juncos! ( Log Out / The third larger chick (right) and the runt. This is a common place for Juncos to place their nests, I’ve come across a few others on the ground in tall grass in previous years. Like OLLA’s and ALGE’s nestlings, they were very feisty, constantly trying to escape from us. They may have been sitting on unfertile eggs for long enough to realize they weren't going to hatch. The only things they can do are beg for food and digest. They can’t stand up, or open their eyes, or keep themselves warm. ( Log Out / Photo by M. LaBarbera. These nestlings were big enough to process, so we banded them YOGA and RARR. This nesting attempt has failed. The bill is pinkish and the eyes are dark.This bird varies geographically. Unfortunately even if I catch a fledgling in that area, I won’t be sure that it is one of them. This nesting attempt has failed. This may work to entice juncos to nest. “I scared her up,” my father (who generously field-assisted me on this trip) said. These chicks are very young—more grubs than birds. How…amazing. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. This means that, out of four nests, potentially two had issues with infertility—that’s high enough that you would expect it to be a selective pressure on females, to which they might respond by trying to select the most fertile mates, or by mating with multiple males. They looked to be about 5 days old as in your pictures. Photo by M. LaBarbera. There are a couple of reasons for birds to abandon their nests. You can’t see me if I hide my head… Two of the larger chicks, probably five days old. Note how the larger chick has more pinfeathers. Change ), Giant nest update: unhatched eggs, new nests. Photo by M. LaBarbera. My cat brought home two tiny baby birds today and your post helped me identify them as juncos. The eastern \"Slate-colored\"race is uniform dark gray or brownish gray depending on whether it is male or female.The western \"Oregon\" race has black (male) or gray (female)hood and brown back.The western \"Pink-sided\" race has a gray head and pinkish sides.The \"Gray-headed\" race of the southern Rockies and Sout… They may have completed the nest but discovered it was vulnerable to predators or unsafe in some way. By the time I was able to visit the nest again, ten days later, the nest was empty. These birds are about 5 to 6 1/2 inches long. Four nestlings from nest #1. The parents have abandoned it; the eggs are cold to the touch (i.e., not being incubated). You are so lucky to hold them in your hand! I now have four-count-’em-FOUR nests to update you on! Find the chicks… (hint: look for the yellow of the bill). Three days later—the last day of that trip—we returned in hopes of banding the chicks, but unfortunately their legs were still too small: if I had banded them, the bands might have slipped down over their feet, holding them closed. This may be a stress response. This egg was definitely infertile, since clearly the others were incubated correctly. I hope that I’ll see them on the next trip! We hurried to get them back into the nest so that they (and their parents) could calm down. Perkypet.com is the top destination to find quality Wild Bird Feeders and Accessories. In late April I was mowing the grass growing between the raised vegetable garden beds and discovered this Dark-eyed Junco nest, complete with eggs, on the ground underneath a small overhang. One parent heading for nest #1 – that dark cave under the rock. During winter and on migration they use a wider variety of habitats including open woodlands, fields, roadsides, parks, and garden… There were two nestlings, probably eight or nine days old, and one unhatched egg. The nest with four eggs in it that I mentioned previously is, one month later, still four eggs. Plant several dense spruce trees with branches near the ground. My dad pointed out where the junco had flown from, and sure enough, there was her hidden nest, with the four tiny nestlings she had been brooding when my dad flushed her. ( Log Out / Keep the area around the trees unmanicured so that tall grass grows up. If any chicks survived, it will take a while for them to get old enough to be safe; they may not leave the nest until they’re 9-14 days old, and when they do leave, they’ll still be flightless and clumsy (and vulnerable) for a while. I would prefer that my interfering with chicks have no consequences at all; but since their parents were feeding them there, and the chicks were entirely concealed, I think this should be fine.