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Chris Clem

Mojave Desert new born chicks

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This is 8 miles north of Yucca Valley Ca Mar 22 2020. I heard a bird fly out of a dead Joshua Tree lying on the ground. I didn't see the bird but I found a nest on the ground with 2 baby chicks. I couldn't get a better angle for the photo of the sleeping birds. Not a lot to go by but anyone care to guess what these this might be.

 

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Well, you know it's a ground-nesting species with altricial young (ones that need the parents' attention after birth, unlike prococial ones that can operate semi-independently shortly after hatching).  You may have to pull up eBird's list for the area and start eliminating.

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I can walk to this nest from my house. I will try to see if I can spot a parent. There is not lot a lot of protection there from predators and there are coyotes,roadrunners,hawks and the likes around here. Lets hope they can survive.

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2 hours ago, Chris Clem said:

I will try to see if I can spot a parent.

This is definitely the best way for identification. Just make sure you're a considerable distance away from the nest as to not disturb the adults or chicks.

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Could any of the local nightjars be breeding already? They always lay two eggs, which is an odd-enough trait in birds that it's almost diagnostic given certain situations.

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11 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

Could any of the local nightjars be breeding already? They always lay two eggs, which is an odd-enough trait in birds that it's almost diagnostic given certain situations.

Although there could have been more than two eggs and one failed to hatch, or hatched and young bird has already expired.  Not being negative, just keeping all possibilities open.

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