Baby Blackbirds and Our Dogs

This year a pair of blackbirds have decided to nest on our terrace, on a beam in the roof facing the kitchen door. The first brood, unfortunately one of our terriers found at least one fledgling and possibly two.  

Yesterday the second brood fledged and we've got three, maybe four, tail-less, fat balls of feathers within a matter of feet of our dogs.  We are keeping the dogs in and walking them on leads to see if this time we can save the brood.

This new regime does not thrill the dogs as they normally go in and out at will. 

I'd be grateful for some information please.

How long are the fledglings unable to fly? Ie when will they be safe (ish)?

I understand blackbirds can have three, maybe even four, broods up to the end of July.  If we move the nest now, before they start laying the next batch of eggs, will they nest elsewhere?  Or just rebuild the nest in the same place.  They could not have chosen a worse place!

Thanks for any information. Sue

  • Hi Sue it could take 3 or 4 days for the fledglings to fly according to google.
    We normally point out to people that it is illegal to disturb or interfere in an active nest, hopefully the Birds wont use the nest again..if you don't remove it.

    My Flickr photos

  • Hi Sue, I hope the parents have moved their brood on now away from your terrace and you can let the dogs out again. They probably thought they had found a safe place up on a beam on your roof but of course the chicks once fledged wouldn't have much chance against the curious dogs. I would imagine that moving the nest wouldn't help the situation as they would only nest there again if they lost their brood, hopefully they are feeding and moving away now. I have had a number of young in my garden, but they didn't nest there, so were able to fly away when my dogs approached them .If as Alan says they will be able to fly within 3 or 4 days then hang on in there and you will soon be able to relax.

    Lot to learn

  • Thank you both for your helpful replies and my apologies for my slow response. It's a busy time of year for us. Unfortunately "relax" has not been part of our experience this summer as we have had FOUR sequential nests, all within easy reach of the dogs. The latest is just outside my study window in the wisteria. I can hear the chirping now.

    On a completely different topic, is it possible to upload videos to this forum? I have a sound - bird? frog? - in the field next to our garden and I'd be grateful if someone could identify it for me. If not here, do you know anywhere else where I might get help please? Thanks Sue
  • Hi Sue, sorry for your problems with dogs & BB fledglings but thanks for caring about their survival!
    Have you uploaded your vid to You tube? You will need to do this first then copy the URL to be able to post of here for ID ... unfortunately this is not one of those forums where you can upload vids directly!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Hello Wendy, thanks for the information. Yes it is on Youtube, so I'm trying now ...

    Not sure if this has worked, so may need help to get it right please.

    If anyone has the stamina to watch / listen, firstly apologies for the shaky camera work at the beginning! The moments when you can hear this noise are roughly; 26 secs, 46 secs, 1.01 min, 1.15 min, 1.27 min 1.38 min, 2.08 min, 2.23 min

    Thanks for any thoughts / suggestions as to what is making this sound.

    By the way, we are in south west France, surrounded by fields. The field behind the trees has ripe wheat in it.

  • Hello Sue, Wendy, all.
    Haven't heard many of them recently, but is that call a Nuthatch?

    Best regards -
  • Hello Dave, thanks for the suggestion, but I've just listened to a youtube video of a nuthatch warning call and it seems more continuous and urgent and with more richness of sound. "My" sound is just rhythmic and quite functional and I would have said calm, which is why I'm now questioning whether it's a bird at all.
  • Sorry Sue; you're right. Don't know what I was thinking of.

    We currently have a pair in the garden. It's such a long time since we've seen them regularly I think I have them on the brain. Was thinking again of getting a tattoo, as they are, perhaps, my favourite bird.

    I'm sure someone will come up with a more accurate identification.

    All the best -
  • I envy you your nuthatches. I listened to their song earlier as they are not a bird I am familiar with. Just beautiful. Lovely choice for a tattoo!
  • Find a spot where they're present, Sue, and they're everywhere. And every day.

    I used to have a particular area in the forest where they were always present.

    Super birds.