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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure what to do.... I came back from walking my 7 yr old female to find my 2 yr old male laying in the yard next to a baby bird that had fallen from its nest. Very proud of my boy for not killing or injuring it. I managed to get the baby bird back into its nest but a little while later, there is my boy barking at something...baby bird out again on the ground. So I put it into a fake nest I had (for decoration) and placed it next to the real nest. The real nest had at least 1 other baby in it and was kind of small. Anyhow, not sure how to keep the babies safe. My 2 dogs go out in our fenced backyard periodically during the day and even though they have been nice to baby bird so far, I am not sure how long that will last. Especially if the birds start walking around or hopping on the ground. Right now the birds don't seem to be able to do that.... So any ideas?
 

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I've seen this happen before in my yard.I suspect the nest has been abandoned by the parent birds for some reason.I'll put them back and find them on the ground a few more times.Sometimes they will die or sometimes disappear(meal for a predator?)
 

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Can you tell if the two baby birds are the same species? Any chance a parasitic bird, like a cowbird layed an egg in the nest? A cowbird baby will push out the other babies.

I've been watching a dove nest that is in one of my hanging pots. Mourning doves generally lay 2 eggs. There are three. Also seems they should have hatched by now. Maybe they are duds. Danged birds are stressing me out. lol!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The babies look the same. And I saw the mom, a robin, coming to feed them until my boy started barking at her. I guess he has no problem with baby on ground but no flying around allowed! Apparently my yard is a no fly zone....
 

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Robins are strange. I have had any number of the little beggars in my house over the years. For whatever reason they fall out of the nest and mom feeds them on the ground. Which leaves them vulnerable to predators. My Dane brought one home from a walk and since I was unsure when she picked it up, she had it in her mouth, I raised it. We had a weasel preying on the neighbors chickens, so I would leave the babies out during the day with Sabs standing guard and at night I would scoop them up and bring them in. Mom seemed to have no issues with it and all three survived to flight. We found another stunned on a roadside and brought it home. I chicken wired off an area under the tree one year to keep the dogs away as well.
 

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We had a swallow build a nest on our porch light once! Came home to red mud splattered on the white front door! Looked around like what the heck and saw the nest! A cowbird laid an egg in her nest, brown speckled egg, just one! Then she laid 4 eggs, no spots, much smaller, but she had sit on the nest the whole time! The cowbird hatched first, I think a week or so before the others and sadly I guess he smothered them or just hogged all the food the mother bird brought back. I never saw egg shells or the bodies of the babies, I guess the mom cleaned the nest? The cow bird grew and we saw it sitting on the edge of the nest and I guess it flew off after a while. The mother bird laid 4 more eggs after the cow bird left, she raised him! Something. got to the second group of eggs, one came missing and there was yolk on the other eggs, two more disappeared, and the last never hatched. She stayed with the last egg for a while. There was a neighbors tree by the side of our house and she'd fly there whenever we came out and watch! Good mama bird! Sadly in the fall that year while mowing, I came across feathers and such her color near that tree. But it was a fun experience, we checked the nest all the time, and after googling came across it was a cowbird that had been planted in her nest! We had robins fall from our tree learning to fly, our dogs did pick one up and it didn't make it, but the mother bird watched over the other one and we hoped he made it. We couldn't see where that nest was though!
 

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In Nature baby birds fledge (leave the nest) and learn to fly short distances from twig to twig. They can fly down but not up because they are not strong enough yet. If they go to the ground nature supplies bushes and undergrowth and they use this for ladders to go back up in the tree. Their parents feed them all this time.

But humans like savannah type landscapes with just grass and trees and we remove the baby bird ladders. Then, we keep predators (cats and dogs) in these yards. Cats alone kill up to 3.7 billion birds annually> https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/29/cats-wild-birds-mammals-study/1873871/

Best thing for the OP to do is don't let the dogs out in the yard until the babies and the parents have figured it out. This will only take a few days. Some brush might be piled up against the tree trunk for the babies to hop from twig to twig to get back up there. Good luck. I was the presodent of the Basrop Audubon Society- 2 terms-, and ran a wildlife rescue specializing in birds for a number of years.
 

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The babies I was speaking of are newborns,no feathers.I don't know why they would be on the ground over and over with no cowbird involved?The babies with feathers I help them into the nearest undergrowth and wish them well:)
Barn swallows are so fun to watch!A few evenings ago there were literally dozens of them swooping and diving over our yard.I'm guessing they were scooping up insects but it looked like a very cool choreographed air show from down below.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have been looking up baby birds online and I believe these to be nestlings not fledglings. The nest is pretty small or maybe the heavy rain and wind we have had compromised it.

I saw mama bird in both nests feeding her babies and they all seem to still be up in the tree tonight. I guess I will have to put some kind of a temporary fence in that area if they have to spend time on the ground. There used to be a bit more of lower branches but my 2 yr old has pretty much cleared out the bottom of the Arborvitaes. I have never had this before and the arborvitaes in my yard are constantly full of nests.

Keeping the dogs out of the back yard is not realistic for me. It is the only place they can run without a leash. The 7 yr old would be ok but my 2 yr old needs some room to exercise.

I wonder what all the birds in prior nests did????

In any case, it was pretty amazing to hold a baby bird and get to see it up close.
 

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We had a swallow build a nest on our porch light once! Came home to red mud splattered on the white front door! Looked around like what the heck and saw the nest! A cowbird laid an egg in her nest, brown speckled egg, just one! Then she laid 4 eggs, no spots, much smaller, but she had sit on the nest the whole time! The cowbird hatched first, I think a week or so before the others and sadly I guess he smothered them or just hogged all the food the mother bird brought back. I never saw egg shells or the bodies of the babies, I guess the mom cleaned the nest? The cow bird grew and we saw it sitting on the edge of the nest and I guess it flew off after a while. The mother bird laid 4 more eggs after the cow bird left, she raised him! Something. got to the second group of eggs, one came missing and there was yolk on the other eggs, two more disappeared, and the last never hatched. She stayed with the last egg for a while. There was a neighbors tree by the side of our house and she'd fly there whenever we came out and watch! Good mama bird! Sadly in the fall that year while mowing, I came across feathers and such her color near that tree. But it was a fun experience, we checked the nest all the time, and after googling came across it was a cowbird that had been planted in her nest! We had robins fall from our tree learning to fly, our dogs did pick one up and it didn't make it, but the mother bird watched over the other one and we hoped he made it. We couldn't see where that nest was though!
What I do about cowbirds in barn swallow nests is take a step stool and a hand mirror and view the eggs by holding the hand mirror above the nest (parents will be pissed, but they get over it). Check for one egg different and bigger than the others. remove that egg. Birds can not 'smell' that you touched eggs or babies. Cats and cowbirds are a big problem for birds.

In addition, Barn Swallows are becoming scarce in many places. Big Ag America does not use barns anymore. Meanwhile, Cliff swallows (their nest is like a jug, not a shelf) are spreading by breeding huge colonies under the highway systems bridges and overpasses all across America. They also will take over the few Barnie colonies that are left and make their shelf nests into jug nests.

For my precious 2 pair Barn Swallow 'colony' here, they raised one brood that failed, then laid one egg that failed. Meanwhile, hundreds of Purple Martins showed up and looked to me like they ate most of the flying insects. They arrive from migration early in the year to 'martin houses', raise a brood then the whole colony leaves in huge flocks to 'vacation across America'. They crowded out my precious Barnies.
 

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So now I'm wondering what barn swallows did before there were barns:confused:I feel fortunate to live where there are so many species of birds to enjoy.Lately there is a pair of sandhill cranes that fly over from the nearby lake and stalk around in the soybean field behind us.If one of them spots us out in the yard it will start squawking LOUDLY.The dogs can't quite figure out just what those big obnoxious things are.
 

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That's interesting! We left the nest because I had read they would return, but like I had said I was pretty sure she had been killed. My grandparents had them build nests in the outside stairwell that went into their basement, and that was always pretty interesting to watch when we went to stay with them in the summer!
 

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That mama bird was fun to watch, we have a fan window at the top of the door and we could stand over by the door and watch her comings and goings! We have a plant hanger by the porch and she would see us looking out the window, fly to the hanger and peek around the corner to see if we were still there! Nature is pretty cool!
 

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Before there were barns and human buildings (thousands of years ago) Barn swallows plastered their nests on overhangs of cliffs.
 

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We had a robin nesting in our hanging fern once, and every time I went to water the fern, she would yell at me and fly circles while flapping her wings. Apparently she didn't understand that her nice shady leafy home would die if she didn't let me water!

The babies looked like little raw chicken nuggets at first...then quickly they were feathered and flying in and out! It did seem like the "stuck on the ground" phase was a short phase...
 

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Lol!The most aggressive mama bird I ever saw was a mockingbird when I lived in Texas years ago.She would chase the neighborhood cats underneath cars then hop around the car daring the cat to come out.She grazed the top of my head a few times.
 

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We had a baby robin land in our yard before it could fly. We looked for a nest in the trees with thoughts of returning it and could not find one. One of the parents would bring it food on the ground. This was a regular occurrence. Often the baby would hide under the shrubs or shed. We were able to witness some flying attempts but not that final fledge. I can only hope it made it. Our dogs share their yard with many types of birds. Luckily they leave them alone. Now a squirrel or chipmunk will provoke a good chase.
 
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