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Thread: Looking for ideas to rescue nestlings

  1. #1

    Default Looking for ideas to rescue nestlings

    I was out taking down my nest boxes today for the season. I saw there was a couple scissor-tailed flycatchers down the street and so I walked over to see if it might be a good photo opportunity. The birds had built a nest about 30 feet up at the very top of a pine tree. But right away things did not look right. The nestlings were 'hopping' around too much. It looked wrong. And when the adult female came to the nest, she desperately started pecking and picking all over the nest. I knew this must mean there were ants in the nest. I took a look at the base of the tree. There were ants, but not an obvious stream of them (yet). The good news (perhaps) was that the ants were not fire ants. The ants were these little yellow ants that seem to always run super fast, and they even tolerate running around on hot pavement. But the tree was in a grassy area not very near the pavement.


    Probably by this time tomorrow the ants will have overwhelmed the nestlings. The only thing I could think to do right now was to spray the base of the tree with my insect repellent. Is there any other ideas that might work? A real shame. These are my favorite birds.



    looks like a tranquil scene. It is not. The female is desperately trying to pick out ants in the nest here today.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Looking for ideas to rescue nestlings

    Kaptured by Kala

    http://kapturedbykala.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: Looking for ideas to rescue nestlings

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptured by Kala View Post
    Good article. I like the Boric acid suggestion. I am hoping that the ants I am seeing are not going to be able to harm the birds. But it does not look good. Out on the pavement, there was an enormous volume of them exiting from a nest on one side of the parking lot, and swarming like lava all the way across the parking lot. And the pavement was cooking hot. They just ran very fast in a stream. They were definitely NOT fire ants though, which are certain bird killers.

    If only the birds can put on some protective feathers and the parents can fight off the invading ants long enough for the fledglings to get out of the nest.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Looking for ideas to rescue nestlings

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris M View Post
    Good article. I like the Boric acid suggestion. I am hoping that the ants I am seeing are not going to be able to harm the birds. But it does not look good. Out on the pavement, there was an enormous volume of them exiting from a nest on one side of the parking lot, and swarming like lava all the way across the parking lot. And the pavement was cooking hot. They just ran very fast in a stream. They were definitely NOT fire ants though, which are certain bird killers.

    If only the birds can put on some protective feathers and the parents can fight off the invading ants long enough for the fledglings to get out of the nest.


    The ants that were out in overwhelming numbers at my last posting, seemed to stop running up the tree(s) the birds were in. A huge relief.

    So the two nestlings survived and fledged from the nest 2 days ago and are doing fine.

    I wonder what these ants were doing. They were out in staggering numbers, over running everything, including the trees the birds were in.

    I have see similar behavior by ants after a rainstorm, when they are most likely to perform a nuptial flight. But that is not what was going on.


    These ants continued to be a major annoyance for me. The ants have one speed, run fast. They ran along the pavement as columns of enormous numbers, usually along a seam in the pavement.
    As I tried to photograph the birds by standing in one place with my tripod and camera, within ten minutes I would have to move because the ants would divert to my position and be running
    all over my feet (I was wearing sandals). This happened no matter where on the pavement I stood. I thought maybe they were attracted to my shade, since it was very hot. But that can't be the reason because
    if I stood under a shady tree, at first there were no ants, but after a short while they would find me there also. So I think they were following me as a moisture source. They did not bite. They were just annoying.





    But apparently harmless.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Looking for ideas to rescue nestlings

    your ants sure do sound like crazy ants: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasberry_crazy_ant

    And check out this article: http://www.mystatesman.com/news/craz...1MbIHaIqUmiBM/
    Kaptured by Kala

    http://kapturedbykala.com

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