Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Empty-Nesters

When we returned from our shopping trip yesterday, we'd noticed that our mama robin wasn't on her nest. Sometimes, she would fly off as the car entered or left the driveway, so we weren't too surprised.

Off and on during the evening we would peer out the window. There was still no sign of her. "She's abandoned the nest," the mother said. "She probably moved them." I wasn't convinced.

When I woke up this morning, the mother said there was still not sign of the mama bird. As I went outside to check, I spied the mama bird on the end of the nest, busy serving breakfast! I couldn't really see a baby, so I decided to check to make sure. It got quite chilly last night and with no mama around, maybe it had perished.

I came inside and the mother yelled, "Oh, God!" A bird had just struck the kitchen window and dropped down. As I went outside to check, I saw a bird, an awkward-looking robin, fly off. When I went back outside to retrieve a ladder, I saw my neighbor standing in his yard. "One of our babies just hit your window but it got up and flew off."

He told me that they didn't know what had become of the second bird, but that this one had been flying all week and they'd tried to keep tabs on him. Later in the day, I saw the bird again in their yard, identifiable by the tiny bit of down sticking up on his head.

My ladder wasn't tall enough to let me look over the nest (it's pretty high up) but I could see a tiny head and a small clump of tail feathers prostrate across the nest. All I could see was one. Without disturbing it, I clambered down. The mama bird watched cautiously from the adjacent tree and then flew off.

Later in the day, while I was mowing, I saw not one but TWO little heads bobbing up on the nest. At one point, I could see two little bodies jockeying for the upper berth in the nest. It was a sight to behold.

I don't know how long those two will be around, considering that the babies next door have already flown the coop. I worry with the nest being so high that they will either go SPLAT! on top of Ladybird, or on the driveway below. With luck, they'll fall into the sideyard.

Here's hoping for the best!