Backyardsafari's Blog

Environmental Inspiration in Your Own Backyard

Backyard Baby Birds August 13, 2010

Have you ever kept a birdhouse in your yard? Ever thought of keeping one?  Well, today’s guest submissions are sure to inspire you to do just that! Although as you will see, birds don’t always need a wooden house to make a home!

Long time reader of the blog John G. sent in this series of videos of birds living in his yard. The first two show the same set of baby bluebirds from their early days out of the egg to the time they start to grow feathers.




This next video is of the same birdhouse a few weeks later, after those babies had fledged. Looks like there is another brood coming!



The eggs are such a beautiful blue color!

The next two videos are of an amazing wren nest John G. discovered in one of the potted plants hanging on his porch. They are also taken over time, so this is the same brood of chicks as they get older. I love the second video especially because you can hear the tiny sounds they make! Pretty amazing!




So many exciting things are going on all around us! Because of the time John G. spent watching the comings and goings of the wildlife in his backyard, he was able to see the bluebirds nesting in the wooden birdhouse, discover the tiny wren nest hidden in his hanging plant, and safely capture these videos while the parents were away.

What kind of excitement would a birdhouse (or hummingbird feeder, or bird bath, or salt lick) add to your life? It takes a little bit of effort to put them up at first, but I promise the pay-off is great!

What kind of habitats do you have in your yard? Is there anything in particular you do to try to attract wildlife? What kind of creatures–big and small–have stopped by? Feel free to discuss in the comments or send me an e-mail at Finally, many thanks to reader John G. for sending in the videos and sparking this great topic!

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Congratulations Mourning Doves! May 14, 2010

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I am delighted to announce the hatching of at least one of the mourning dove eggs on my balcony! Baby doves are called “squabs,” and will be in the nest for about 2 more weeks before taking off.

I haven’t checked on them for a few days and I peeked out my bedroom window today to see one of the doves feeding a fuzzy baby! Unfortunately I cannot get a good picture from that window, so you will have to make do with the ones I took from my balcony. I was afraid to scare the dove off the nest to get a good picture because there were some other large birds swooping and hanging around a tree nearby. I thought if I scared the parent one of those birds might dart in to try to get a meal. I have no idea if these fears are justified or not, but for now these photos are all I have.  Take note in these pictures of the sad state of my boston fern plant. I was afraid to water it after they built the nest because I thought it might ruin something so the rain is the only real water this plant has had.

As I was walking up to the nest the parent dove stuck its head out the side. I love this picture–it is so confrontational! I imagine this look is saying something like, “Just what exactly do you think you’re doing here?”

I was able to stick my camera towards the side of the nest from a safe distance–you can’t see too much of the baby, but it is underneath the adult:

The young one actually seems to have a fair amount of feathers–I wish I had been more watchful for when exactly they hatched! Look at how puffed up and unhappy the adult is.  I left them alone after this, but I am hoping to get some more pictures later. Maybe when the baby (babies?) is a little older they will leave it on its own and I can get a quick photo.

Congratulations to the new parents! All of that sitting through the rain and cold has finally paid off!