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Want mother blackbird to stay, but baby taking over ! Advice pls

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Old Sunday 28th January 2018, 11:27   #1
mitzymoo
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Want mother blackbird to stay, but baby taking over ! Advice pls

Hi there,

I am new here from NZ. Hi to you all. I have searched websites on blackbird behavior, what happens with their young etc. But I cannot predict what is going to happen in this situation

We have had a tame blackbird female that has been round our yard for a couple of years,we love her. We have seen her through her bizarre molting stages,her times of being under attack by new female blackbirds trying to take over the yard (we have been out there with her trying to help her defense of the yard!) and by purposely only feeding her a couple of times a day. She has hung around and somehow miracoulsly won over our yard against the others.

She now has a baby - well the baby is bigger than her and probably a couple of months old. This baby is sooo cute and tamer then Mum. She would feed her baby a couple of times daily the food we were feeding her. As time has gone on, the baby is still around and so is our mother blackbird. She no longer feeds her, and the baby knows that we come out to feed our blackbird. The baby is very aggressive with food ( as expected ) and anytime I try and feed our blackbird I have to play a mean game of baseball and throw blueberries in two different directions at the sametime if our original bird has any chance of getting any. I have read that the baby birds usually leave the natal area after a period of time. But I think she knows she is on to a good thing being in our yard ! I know blackbirds are solitary , territorial birds and I am worried our old placid bird will be driven out by her own baby . I love them both and wish they both could stay, but the mother blackbird, since having the baby has been more skittish and less friendly (on edge maybe ??) I thought maybe to stop feeding them altogether and maybe the baby will fly off to her own yard, but then I am worried Mum will leave too?

Your advice is appreciated
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Old Sunday 28th January 2018, 12:02   #2
MTem
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You're probably not going to like this ..... But in my opinion you are intervening far too much in natural bird behaviour potentially to the detriment of the long term health and well being of both birds, and the male who must be around somewhere in all this.

Supplementary feeding of wild birds is clearly a good thing if done well. Clean, uncontaminated feed from a trusted source, regularly cleaned feeders and trays, located near to cover and away from predator (cat) locations .... and then let them get on with it with no further interventions. Treating them like pets rarely ends well for either party. If a hawk takes some with these precautions then that's ok (well actually it's good because it means there's enough passerines to support a hawk population)..... even if that includes your favourite bird.

I applaud and would encourage your interest and care for birds in general, but intervening on behalf of an individual to this extent I think is unhelpful. You are correct that come the next breeding season one or other of the females will have to go.

Hope you do regard this as helpful, even if it's probably not what you want to hear.
Regards
Mick

Last edited by MTem : Sunday 28th January 2018 at 12:04.
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Old Monday 29th January 2018, 13:00   #3
mitzymoo
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Thanks for your reply.
I appreciate your advice, and also feel that we are interfering in their natural processes well at least now the baby is around.

The mother did quite well from us intervening though, she kept the yard as her turf and had more babies, it is only now with the adult baby not leaving the yard either, that I can see the full force of interfering .

Thanks Again
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Old Monday 26th February 2018, 04:44   #4
PaintedPony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitzymoo View Post
Hi there,

I am new here from NZ. Hi to you all. I have searched websites on blackbird behavior, what happens with their young etc. But I cannot predict what is going to happen in this situation

We have had a tame blackbird female that has been round our yard for a couple of years,we love her. We have seen her through her bizarre molting stages,her times of being under attack by new female blackbirds trying to take over the yard (we have been out there with her trying to help her defense of the yard!) and by purposely only feeding her a couple of times a day. She has hung around and somehow miracoulsly won over our yard against the others.

She now has a baby - well the baby is bigger than her and probably a couple of months old. This baby is sooo cute and tamer then Mum. She would feed her baby a couple of times daily the food we were feeding her. As time has gone on, the baby is still around and so is our mother blackbird. She no longer feeds her, and the baby knows that we come out to feed our blackbird. The baby is very aggressive with food ( as expected ) and anytime I try and feed our blackbird I have to play a mean game of baseball and throw blueberries in two different directions at the sametime if our original bird has any chance of getting any. I have read that the baby birds usually leave the natal area after a period of time. But I think she knows she is on to a good thing being in our yard ! I know blackbirds are solitary , territorial birds and I am worried our old placid bird will be driven out by her own baby . I love them both and wish they both could stay, but the mother blackbird, since having the baby has been more skittish and less friendly (on edge maybe ??) I thought maybe to stop feeding them altogether and maybe the baby will fly off to her own yard, but then I am worried Mum will leave too?

Your advice is appreciated
I understand how you feel. I have intervened to help an established family of welcome swallows who had been nesting in our feed shed for a couple of years. They were under attack from two sources...a single male who wanted to destroy the nest and take the female, and a mating pair who wanted to take over the nest. When the attacks were on I stood in front of the next with a broom held high to stop the invaders getting to it while the parent birds were trying to chase them off....we won the battles and they raised 5 nests of chicks with my help.

Good luck, but what will be, will be, in the end...try not to be sad with the outcome.
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