please identify our birds

by Collette
(Inyokern, CA, US)

baby birds

baby birds

baby birds baby birds1

We watched these babies being born, raised & leaving the nest. These pictures are the babies a few days after they left the nest. The tails are only half-length and the beaks are still yellow (not yet longer and black). The behavior is fascinating. First we thought they were finches. Are they sparrows? Their home is the California Mojave (high) desert. The parents built a perfect oval nest under our back patio right outside the kitchen window. From when they hatched, nervous "parents" fussed over them, protected them from some kind of small blackbird (Mom & Dad were REAL upset when this bird came around), and fed them constantly. Each day the babies matured, got more features and stretched and fluttered more and more. After about day 15 they started to explore the edges of the nest. The next 3 days they hopped in and out and looked over the ledge. About day 18 they stepped off and landed on a patio chair, then stayed under a patio table all day. They left that spot the next morning but we immediately heard the siblings (2 babies) and parents each distinctively calling each other. The babies moved about 200 feet out to a pine tree. Mama still fed them daily. Now we spot the kids playing aerial combat and still interacting with the parents. And, already another bird (same species) has occupied the old nest and we're pretty sire has laid eggs! Thanks for any help identifying our birds. I already had to buy bird binoculars because watching all this action is addicting!

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