[Tweeters] Dark-eyed Junco presumed nest abandonment

Robert O'Brien baro at pdx.edu
Sun Aug 7 21:57:36 PDT 2022

On the subject of Juncos. We had a single Junco feeding a flying young
cowbird at our feeder a week ago First time in 50 years. I believe it
nested right next to our house where we had seen it earlier. I haven't
seen or heard any cowbirds here in months. They are sneaky.
Bob OBrien Portland

On Sun, Aug 7, 2022 at 8:05 PM Josh DeSilvey <jmdesilvey at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all - This past weekend we witnessed the culmination of a slowly

> unfolding tragedy as a female Junco abandoned her nest and three eggs that

> never hatched. She nested for almost three weeks. We were cautious

> observers of her activity as she built the nest in a wine-barrel planter

> located on the deck in our backyard. When we realized this Junco chose this

> planter, we were excited to see what would unfold, even attentively

> counting down to when the eggs should have hatched. But then that period

> passed.


> We grew concerned when she did not return to the nest Saturday evening,

> though we did see her come and go throughout the day. This morning (Sunday)

> confirmed our fears when we did not spy her sitting on the nest. Looking up

> Junco nesting behaviour on Birds Of The World (BOTW; Thanks WOS!!)

> confirmed that her eggs should have hatched by Wednesday of this past week

> (8/3). Although the conclusion is still sad, we suspected it was

> inevitable. In part this post is one of mourning for our Junco (we named

> her June) and her loss, and not being cautious, careful witnesses to June

> raising her nestlings. It is also one of inquiry and I wanted to bring it

> to the Tweeters list for advice.


> So we have a nest and three Junco eggs. What should we do with it now? Are

> there agencies (glancing in the Burkes direction) in the Seattle metro area

> that would want these for research or teaching?


> Should we leave it as is and let what scavengers are around claim it for

> their benefit? Or when it starts to stink, remove it to the compost bin or

> green belt behind our home?


> Also, I was curious to find that BOTW does not report failure rates for

> broods, whether first or subsequent. In general for birds, what are failure

> rates for broods? What are some causes? Are second or third broods more

> likely to fail, then earlier ones?


> Thanks for your thoughts and answers. I look forward to reading them.


> Josh DeSilvey

> Mountlake Terrace

> jmdesiley at gmail.com

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