Just as things were starting to get fired up again at This D*mn House, I came out one morning to find straw and other debris all over Pearl's roof and hood. It seems a robin had been trying to build a nest atop the ceiling fan in the carport and had been deterred by some of the nasty winds we had in early May.
She was diligent though and I came home a few days later to find this.
I'm a soft touch and as much as I might have liked to tear down the nest and keep all that gunk off of Pearl, I didn't. As a result, the mama settled in.
And then one day, I saw a tiny head pop up out of the nest. Then another one! "We have two baby robins!" I excitedly told the mother.
And the mama robin kept herself busy with the little duo.
Or so I thought ...
They didn't make much noise but I would occasionally see one or then maybe both babies. But one day, I came outside and spotted this:
There were THREE!!!!
And just as quickly as they appeared, they disappeared. Sort of.
I would frequently see one of the babies relentlessly chasing his mama, squawking to be fed. She obliged.
And then I noticed that one of the babies was still on the ground, not flying like his siblings. He stayed close to the tree that separates our part of the lot from our neighbor's. We watched for him so as not to step on, run over with a lawnmower or to protect from a rogue cat.
Finally, I saw the baby fly. He would teeter wherever he landed. And then fall. After two days of this, I noticed that he was walking on what would be his knees, not his feet.
I was able to scoop him up in a box and realized that one foot appeared to be damaged; the other was a mangled mess. So, while he could fly, he could never land. So, for several days he was shuttled between a box, a bird cage and the great outdoors. I made him a makeshift stand he could lean against. I fed him bread, cereal and worms. He ate hungrily, gulping the cereal from an eyedropper. He would try to leap on my hand and once outside, he would hobble around, occasionally taking a short flight before crashing off something. I would talk to him and he would sing back at me!
And then one morning, I awoke to find he had died. He looked very peaceful.
I was sad. But, at least he was not out on a cold, wet night. He was not torn apart by cats. He was not eaten alive by bugs or mites. I still see his parents and siblings; they have settled in about 20 feet from where the nest once was. Evenings, they are outside at dusk dining on lightning bugs. I like to think that maybe that little guy is, too, somewhere. Somewhere where he can fly ... and safely land.