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Documenting Passer montanus' Nest, Eggs, Hatchlings, Nestlings and Fledglings.

05/11/2015``Not a single picture of the hatchlings*, nestlings* and fledglings* of the Passer montanus in the course of its development is seen online thus this document. This Passer montanus is from the Philippines and it was able to build a nest in the window in between panels. Here are the photos of the nest, the eggs, the hatchlings, the nestlings and the fledglings. 

Three mottled eggs were laid in the nest.  The nest where the eggs are is lined most likely with chicken feathers. This represents the top most part of the nest for this is supported by a large mass of dead grasses, leaves, etc. underneath which I think is not advisable considering that the top most is enough to cradle the eggs. Research has to be undertaken to why this phenomenon of nest building, especially that these birds prefer holes and cavities and they already have an extra protection. 

I visited the nest and to my surprise there were already hatchlings. I investigated and there were only two hatchlings which means that one of the eggs did not hatch. Their crops were full  thus  the parents' skill and patience to deliver food to these hatchlings were undoubtedly successful. I think in this stage primordial feather development is starting to occur.

Below is the bigger hatchling in full view.

After One Week, I visited the nest again and to my surprise these hatchlings are almost covered with feathers (thus they are known as nestlings*) and ready to fledge. Fast development of feathers is observed here and their cries for food are occurring daily and could be heard. There was no disturbance whatsoever that was done except in particular time, which was at least a week gap to crudely  document the developmental stages.

The eyes are open. When there is a disturbance, they have the tendency to dip their heads downwards and bloat a little bit of their feathers, thus they appeared to be a "ball of feathers". Significantly, the nestlings did not cry when disturbed. 

Considering that they are difficult to see  because of this behavior,  using  my properly covered glove- hands, I took them from the nest and got them a photo. One of them was able to skip and about to fledge which means that it will probably only take five to six days and they are ready to fly out of the nest. I was lucky that they are in this about- to- fledge  stage of their growth.

Look at the two that are about to fledge.  They appear miniatures of their parents, but they still need more feathers to fully develop their wings.  Probably after five to six days they  will  fledge and leave the nest empty. In the meantime, back to their nest........

Here they are back in their nest. Cries for food have started and the parents come flying back and forth supplying them with food.

Day for complete feather development is being awaited for them to leave the nest. This will be revisited probably in, three or four day interval.

A Day After
Curiosity hits me thus I broke the rules- for I want to know what happened to them after the photo shoot. Without touching them as well as the nest except  pulling, partly the side  panel so as to expose them, they are still there niched in the nest and in this "stoop" position of dipping their heads downwards. They remain immobile and they look healthy with their robust feathers. After some time again they sound off for food. With this status, I think there is a need to shorten their monitor time to a  two day interval. Who knows, I may soon find an empty nest once they flew out of it.

Two Days After my last visit - The birds have reached the Fledgling Stage.

They are out of the nest in its vicinity and I was able to get their last photo shoot.

The Fledglings- see the phenotypic  characteristic of a Passer montanus.

I was lucky to get a shot of this fledgling wide-spreading its wings. So the feathers have completely developed to attain this stage and they are capable of clinging, climbing, hopping and flying in short distances. And these birds could no longer be able to stay put in their nest so they started to explore its vicinity and unite with their parents in the outside world.

Outside of their nest-

Fledgling #1


The silhouettes of the fledglings through a window screen showing their ability to perch on a window rail. On the other side is the open window, waiting for their parents to coach them to fly out. It seems that they could not venture out on their own. After a few hours, I visited the nest and its vicinity and the fledglings were not there anymore.  I went outside to see if they have fallen on the ground, but I haven't seen any of them. The parents are still around making sounds of protection, but I believe their offspring have strong wings to fly to be with them perching probably in neighboring trees. While I was about to finish writing, the sounds of protection of both parents cease which means that the fledglings are now in good hands. 

What is left is an empty nest.

Now that the developmental growth of Passer montanus has been documented, this must not be repeated and as you can see these birds, even they are of  least concern are our backyard friends. In urban areas they share food (e.g. cooked rice) of pet dogs, even drink water intended for the dogs and bathe in it. Sometimes they take turns in bathing and drinking with yellow vented bulbul and the flycatcher, common urban  Philippine garden birds. It is wise to build a concrete structure for drinking and bathing purposes solely for birds.

*The stages of bird development, whether hatchlings, nestlings or fledglings are differentiated here and currently used in this document.