Search of the Week: “what to do with baby hummingbirds when they are getting too big for their nest”


These Black-chinned Hummingbirds are almost as big as their mother and will leave the nest soon.


Hummingbird nests are made with extremely strong, extremely stretchy spider silk, and the nest will expand as the nestlings grow. By the time they seem to be “outgrowing” the nest, they’re almost ready to leave it permanently.

By second-guessing the mother hummingbird and Mother Nature, you risk injuring or killing the youngsters in addition to violating federal and state laws that protect wild birds.

Unless a wild animal is in obvious distress or danger, it is best not to intervene without consulting a wildlife rehabilitator or other wildlife expert.

See also: “Rescuing” baby hummingbirds

Dear spammer…


I am so excited that I came across your item on trade site,I am
interested in purchasing them from you.Let me know if the item is still
available and how much discounts you are willing to give?I will await your
advise on how to proceed.Have a wonderful day. please kindly send me an
email to my private email account (

Anticipating your urgent response. Thank you.
Sincerely Mark Shoemake
Daxisa Company Plc
4 Chapel row
Dalmellington roadPatna
Ayrshire Scotland UK Scotland
Ayrshire 4 Chapel Row, Dalmellington
Road, Patna

Dear Mr. Shoemake:

And we are so excited that you have contacted us. The item in question is still available at US$17,452.06. Since the item is one of a kind, a discount of 2% is available only if the buyer agrees to a period of indentured servitude of no less than three (3) years. Payment in person is required, and we accept cash, all major credit cards, bank drafts, strands of shiny beads, pounds of flesh, or heads of cattle (just the heads – no bodies, please). Apologies, but we no longer accept PayPal. We do not provide shipping, and due to the extreme sensitivity of the item we will not deal with third parties unless the buyer is present at the transaction and all parties are naked (shower sandals are permitted, but only in fuchsia to avoid antagonizing the item).

To proceed with your order, please provide home address, business phone number, home phone number, mobile number, payment tender preference, bank name, exact name as it appears on the account, account and routing numbers, mother’s maiden name, father’s maiden name, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, boxers/briefs preference, and date you plan to travel to the U.S. to accept delivery of the item.


Salome P. Quincepickle, Curator
Museum of the Sphincter
Warts-On-Winkie, Utah

Dear Etsy Legal Department…

I know your job is usually to ignore copyright and intellectual property infringements (except when it involves the IP of Disney and other powerful and highly litigious corporate entities), but could you please take a moment to ignore this probable violation of federal wildlife law?

This shop is selling items made with real bird skulls:

soultosoul19: Dead Birds & The Lost Key

Though the skulls are not identified by the seller, they are obviously not from common domesticated birds such as poultry or pigeons, ornamental gamebirds such as pheasants or peafowl, or common cage birds such as parrots or finches. They appear to be from wading birds and seabirds and were most likely salvaged from nature. Since the seller is in the United States, it is almost certain that the skulls belong to species that are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The Act states the following (in part):

“…it shall be unlawful at any time, by any means or in any manner, to… possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to purchase, purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, cause to be shipped, deliver for transportation, transport, cause to be transported, carry, or cause to be carried by any means whatever, receive for shipment, transportation or carriage, or export, at any time, or in any manner, any migratory bird, included in the terms of this Convention . . . for the protection of migratory birds . . . or any part, nest, or egg of any such bird.” (16 U.S.C. 703)

If these items are in violation of the MBTA, their sale, purchase, and shipment are also violations of the Lacey Act.

If these skulls do not belong to native birds covered under the Act and were legally acquired and legal to resell, there should be a statement to that effect in the description of each item and some documentation to back it up. If not… well, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m sure you’ve got the resources to figure out the exact legal ramifications for the company.


Sheri L. Williamson

cc: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Etsy’s boilerplate non-response:

Case #: 38410
Jason Seger
JUL 16, 2012  |  07:26PM UTC
Sheri -Thanks so much for contacting Etsy. As you may know, by using the site, each person agrees to comply with Etsy’s policies and with applicable laws. Also, Etsy is a venue which is comprised of third-party or user generated content. Etsy is not a juried site.Thanks so much for sending this link to Etsy. If you have questions about a certain seller’s material, you may choose to respectfully contact that person with an inquiry.

Etsy complies with our policies and we remove material when we are notified by proper authorities and have reason to believe that the material is not in compliance with Etsy’s policies.

Etsy Legal Support

Update: As of September 20, the store is still online but is now empty.

Does that mean that:

  • the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stepped in?
  • Etsy decided, without direct prompting from federal officers, to enforce its own rules?
  • all the illegal items sold, and “soultosoul19” needs to scavenge more bird carcasses off the beach to restock his/her shop?

The last option seems unlikely, as Etsy shop pages usually list the numbers of sales, but the fact that the shop is still on line is troubling. I’ll be keeping an eye on it just in case.

With apologies to Poe

Since Birders On The Border doesn’t get as much traffic as LB&E, I thought I’d give my most recent post over there some additional exposure:


Inspired by actual events.

Once upon a summer swelter, while I weltered in my shelter,
Reading backlogged emails, each more urgent than the one before,
As I toiled, resisting napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my kitchen door.
“‘Tis the FedEx guy,” I muttered, “tapping at my kitchen door –
Only this, and nothing more.”

The timing was inopportune, for in the midday heat of June
I hide indoors awaiting monsoon storms their cooling rains to pour.
Eagerly I wait and wonder, when will storm clouds roil and thunder,
Lightning tear the sky asunder, bringing coolness I long for,
Bringing long-awaited coolness that we desert rats adore,
And our peace of mind restore?

But the raps were not repeated, so I chose to remain seated
Avoiding summer air so heated by not going to the door,
There were emails to be sending, other business issues pending,
I should really not be spending time on phantoms at the door
Wasting Facebook time on chasing phantoms tapping at my door,
Though my butt grew numb and sore.

Back to my computer turning, my paycheck to resume earning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, lightly on the kitchen door.
“Surely,” said I, “that is someone who has braved the hellish noon sun
A delivery errand to run, and this knock I can’t ignore,
A package or a letter, too important for me to ignore.”
I rose, and strode toward the door.

Turning now the shining brass knob I was greeted by a small mob
Of hot chickens gathered on the porch before the kitchen door:
Joni blond and partridge Pearlie, brainy Grace and Bonnie burly,
Thinking they’d be let in, surely, if their Mom they did implore,
They gazed at me so pitifully, a ploy they hoped I would fall for.
And then they walked right in the door.

Through the kitchen four spoiled hens stroll, past the fridge and to the dog’s bowl,
Checking here and there for crumbs and morsels dropped upon the floor,
No rustic roost was ever finer than a La-Z-Boy designer
Plush and cushiony recliner Dad and Mom worked hard to score,
Soft recliners far more comfortable than carpet or bare floor,
Soon festooned with chickens four.

“Out!” I cried, “Before the pooping starts and I’m reduced to scooping
Guano from the furniture, the carpet and the hardwood floor!
You’re common barnyard fowl” I chided, “and you’re tragically misguided
If you think you’ll be abided as you foul my hardwood floor,
Foul my chairs, my tufted carpets and the oak upon my floor.”
Quoth the chickens, Brahk-ahk borrr?

Then these winsome fowl beguiling my stern visage into smiling
By the charm and innocence of the countenance they wore,
“Though you’ll no doubt make some crappies and you have no chicken nappies,
I do love to see you happy, though your messes I abhor.
I will let you roam a while until you start to soil the floor.”
Then Joni pooped upon the floor.

“Out!” I cried, my patience snapping, “Why such frequent need for crapping?
Oaks long dead don’t need your guano – take your butts back out the door!
You’re not princesses,” I berated, “so you shouldn’t look deflated
When you find you’re reinstated in your coop behind your door,
Safe from my wrath and coyotes, locked behind a sturdy door.
Quoth the chickens, Brahk-ahk borrr?

As I chased them toward the doorway, they began to act like wild prey,
Dodging, ducking hands, the chickens managed to evade me more
‘Round the living room we gyred until I became so tired
And so hot I near expired and flopped down upon the floor,
So tired and hot that I forgot what I was chasing chickens for.
They clucked in triumph, Brahk-ahk borrr!

And the chickens, never flitting, still are sitting, still are sitting
On the arms and backs of chairs I tried to keep them off before,
And their eyes are smug and gleaming as they ponder how their scheming
Did prevail against my screaming as I chased them ’round the floor.
And these fowl from off my chairs and out my house and out my door
Shall be evicted… nevermore.

Birders On The Border: With apologies to Poe

Dispatches from the West preview: July/August 2012

My column in the July/August issue of WildBird magazine—the annual raptor issue—is devoted to the imperiled Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:

On our first day of exploration, Clay, Pat, Tom and I encountered what we assumed was a Boreal Chickadee. Back at camp, we mentioned it to Bob. His eyes lit up. “Bet it wasn’t,” he grinned.

If you’re not yet a subscriber to WildBird, you can use this link to to get six colorful, information-packed issues (a full year) and benefit the conservation and education programs of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO). Single copies of Wildbird are also available at newsstands and bookstores. You’ll find subscriptions to WildBird and other birding magazines plus field guides, feeders and accessories, seeds for hummingbird-friendly plants, and more at SABO’s online shop, The Trogon’s Nest, powered by

Search of the Week: “are hummingbirds poisonous?”


Small animals that are poisonous or venomous often sport bright colors to warn away predators. This doesn’t apply to hummingbirds.

No. Where it’s legal to do so (not in the U.S., where they’re protected by federal law), you could eat as many hummingbirds as you want without suffering any ill effects.

What’s that? Oh, you meant venomous. No, they’re not venomous, either. If they were, I’d know, because I’ve handled thousands of ’em.

Dispatches from the West Preview: May/June 2012

Here’s a teaser from my column in the May/June issue of WildBird magazine—the annual hummingbird issue:

By the time my eight intrepid companions and I rendezvoused at Beatty’s Guest Ranch, a couple of inches of the white stuff had already accumulated, turning the mid-April landscape of Miller Canyon into a winter wonderland. We slogged up the trail, stopping to marvel at Red-faced Warblers against a snowy backdrop and wipe wet flakes from our binoculars.

If you’re not yet a subscriber to WildBird, you can use this link to to get six colorful, information-packed issues (a full year) and benefit the conservation and education programs of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO). Single copies of Wildbird are also available at newsstands and bookstores. You’ll find subscriptions to WildBird and other birding magazines plus field guides, feeders and accessories, seeds for hummingbird-friendly plants, and more at SABO’s online shop, The Trogon’s Nest, powered by

ROFL of the Week: How To not grandparenting

More fun with Engrish from a Google-baiting “blog” called How To bird watching and bird training tips:

My minimal grandson likes to conduct points with me personally so I chosen to placed an exclusive hummingbird bird feeder proper external my cooking area corner exactly where we can easily take a seat and see several hummingbirds basically we possess breakfast time, the afternoon meal, and also dinner.

Once we initially discovered the woman, she would take a flight hummingbird feeders up to in a several legs from my confront like verifying people away… or even attempting to discourage people absent.

The glass hummingbird feeders idea appeals to a range of sorts of chickens.

And they often it appears as though he’ll almost certainly start to soar at a distance, after that stop by mid-air as if to mention “Thank you” and down your dog runs.

Is “down your dog runs” anything like “Bob’s your uncle”?



RIP: Cinnamon the Disapproving Rabbit

Just read the heartbreaking news on Facebook that Cinnamon, the original Disapproving Rabbit, has passed on at the age of 13. Deepest sympathies to Birdchick Sharon Stiteler from a heart that knows the pain she’s feeling all too well.