Do No Bird Harm

Nest Beard
Exterior flood lights with a nest beard.

A couple weeks ago I was exiting the side porch of my house and saw some junk hanging from over the door.  It was a nest.  Aw, heck.

What should I do?  Should I move it? Had a bird laid her eggs there yet?  I couldn’t get to a place where I could actually see into the top of the nest.  I did what I do many times in uncertain situations —  nothing.

When I was a kid, our neighbor had a big pine tree that butted up against our driveway.  I remember hearing some squeaking coming from the tree when we got home one day.  I looked closer through the branches and saw a baby bird.  It was on the ground, and didn’t appear to be happy about it.  I wanted to do something.

It must have fallen out a nest up in the tree.  I asked if we could move the baby, find the nest, something.  My folks didn’t know what to do.  We left it there.  It took a couple days for the baby bird to stop squeaking.  Ugh.

I’ve gone out a few times in the last week and a robin has flown from the nest as I open the back door.  I don’t want to kill any baby birds. And I don’t want to freak out Mama Robin every time I want to go to my backyard.

I looked on the web, seeing if anyone had recommendations about maybe moving the nest to a less-trafficked area.  I found some anecdotes about successfully moving a bird’s nest, but most people said not to do it.  Others even said it was a crime, a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

I’m going to have my family stop using the back door, at least during the spring.  It will be a mild inconvenience, but maybe we won’t kill any baby birds.  That would be nice.

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