Baby Birds Leave the Nest

We’ve had an abundance of birds nesting around the house at Rancho La Zaca this year, and birds’ nests fascinate me. Here’s one we found up in the side porch. It hasn’t hatched yet…

Bird nest at Rancho La Zaca
Bird nest at Rancho La Zaca

Maybe the birds feel safe owing to the sad loss earlier this year of the fabulous but elderly Savannah, our amazing if not inventively named Savannah cat . (R.I.P.) We do have some new feral cats around, but they are shy. Maybe the birds haven’t picked up on them yet. I’m not what you’d call a cat person but you gotta have cats on a ranch. It is a law of the universe.

Here’s another nest in one of the planters in the atrium. Eagle-eyed Susie Flores snapped this at what must have been near the moment of hatching.

Bird nest at Rancho La Zaca
Bird nest at Rancho La Zaca, photo by Susie Flores

Chef Stephanie Valentine took another when they were a little older. A regular Marlin Perkins she is.

If you don’t know who Marlin Perkins is, you are too young to be reading this.

Awww, wook.

Baby birds in the atrium at Rancho La Zaca, photo by Stephanie Valentine
Baby birds in the atrium at Rancho La Zaca, photo by Stephanie Valentine

Now these little babies have good news and bad news. The good news is they are protected from critters in our atrium–hawks and cats and mountain lions and such.

The bad news is they do not have a 100% understanding of the concept of glass and its relative hardness compared to, say, sky. But they figured it out eventually.

Up and out. Gone. Oh my, they leave the nest so soon.

Happy Mother’s Day.

Cherry blossoms, lilacs, and bird nest at RLZ
Cherry blossoms, lilacs, and (faux) bird nest at Rancho La Zaca.


  1. I am so happy that your babies flew away! Our first nest was very productive and four fledglings flew away. Our second nest suffered a tragedy and was decimated when strong winds blew down the fern where their little house was sitting. One baby had already hatched and the other eggs had little cracks, but when we found the fern on the ground, all were gone. I’d like to think that their mama took them someplace safe, but I am afraid the tree rats got ’em. Dang those squirrels!

  2. So sweet! My son James exclaimed last night that a bird had just wizzed by his head as he was entering the house. This morning I discovered the nest being built in the fishing basket on my front door. Can’t bear to get rid of it…. so- “WATCH OUT!” That arrangement is soooo pretty!!

  3. Beautiful Mother’s Day flowers and baby birds. We have them hatching on porch in a hat shaped bird house. Always hope to get a family….wrens it is.
    Happy Spring to the ranchers,

  4. Thanks for the beautiful pictures. I too love birds nests. I used to put the fluff from my dryer out so the birds could use it but was told that it has chemicals in it nd should not be used to build nests. The birds are doing fine witout my help.

  5. Loved those pictures, those just-hatched baby birds, oh my! I absolutely know who Marlin Perkins was, spent many happy hours with my Dad watching Wild Kingdom on our black and white t.v. (Same one we watched The Beatles sing on Ed Sullivan! I really am dating myself, ha!) His assistant was Jim, if I remember right. Thank you, Ms. Frances, for another lovely post and wishing you all a most wonderful Mother’s Day.

  6. Upon just turning 60 – I have been lamenting that my boys have grown and gone…and this is from someone who got married later in life…so this post really GOT me…”Up and Out. Gone… Miss them like crazy…
    thanks Frances for making Mother’s Day meaningful and connected to nature!
    you are a shinning star..
    xo Laurette

  7. Ahhhhnother amazing entry!! Frances, I LOVE birds!! I worked for two years to attract the Eastern Bluebirds! One day after preparing compotes of fresh blueberries and dried mealworms.yes I buy very pricey dried insects…a gorgeous blue bird flew to my deck. I was walking past my window and froze…in the same breath I said, “thank you Lord!” He does give us the desires of our heart!! I see his magestic creativity in every feather of each variety! It’s a full “booffet” as my Daddy calls it at my house when it comes to my birds! They eat better than me!! I know you will be missing your Mama tomorrow! Oh she would be so very proud of you!! Much love!

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