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Submitted By

Louisa W

Louisville, KY, USA


Saw what looked like a female house sparrow or house finch leaving my hanging fern. Got down the plant and realized there was already a nest with two eggs, one blue and one speckled. Curious what kind they are?

Nest In Hanging Fern

6 responses to “Nest in hanging fern”

  1. Little Smalls says:

    Well it looks like you have a house finch nest. The blue egg belongs to a house finch. The other egg however, belongs to a cowbird. These pests lay their eggs in other birds nest so the other birds will raise them. Because they are larger when born, they will push the other egg out of the nest, so they can get more food. I would recommend submitting your findings to nest watch, this is very useful data for them.

  2. Holly Grant, Project Assistant says:

    Hi Louisa, This is indeed a House Finch nest with a Brown-headed Cowbird egg in it. However, Brown-headed Cowbird nestlings typically do poorly in House Finch nests, as they need the proteins from insects to grow strongly, and House Finches feed their young a mainly vegetarian diet. We’d love to have data on this nest if you decide to monitor it! You can learn more about how to get started with NestWatch here.

  3. Louisa W says:

    Wow thanks for the feedback! I haven’t seen any cowbirds and I was surprised there were already eggs in the nest. I will try to monitor it through the app.

  4. Thegbird says:

    Those pesky cowbirds! Last year I had a pheobe nest and I had 2 cowbird eggs in it i am not sure how many of the pheobe baby’s died because of them.

  5. Kylie Beevers says:

    Cowbirds are known for their notorious acts of leaving their eggs in other species nests.

  6. Texas Bird Family says:

    Removing Cowbird eggs is illegal. Cowbirds are protected.

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