Fly away little birdies

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Have you ever gotten so attached to something, that you didn't realize it... until it was gone?

Our home has a large two-story deck overlooking the back yard, and about a month ago I noticed two robins flitting about one of the deck supports. A quick check on their progress showed me that they had a half-constructed nest on the most unlikely of spots. They chose the support that holds up the portion of deck that juts out from the center of the house, just outside the kitchen and dining room, in plain view of the house. The nest-building site was even more ridiculous considering that it was just inches from our outdoor eating space, and one could easily reach through the deck rail and touch the nest. Considering that the kids were in school in the first days of nest building, and that the weather had been unseasonably cold and kept my little screaming banshees indoors most of the time, and not believing that a pair of robins can be so dim-witted, I figured that they would give up their efforts once the weekend rolled around. You see, at that point, these poor, unaware creatures would probably realize the error of their new home building efforts and move to more peaceful surroundings.

Guess not. They even used some of the stray bits of toilet paper still clinging to our tree tops (have I told you I have a teenage daughter? Our house is often festooned with toilet paper. It's lovely.)

It didn't take long for the three perfect little eggs to arrive. The color is such an amazing shade of blue. Whenever the Momma bird left the nest I would tiptoe out and peer down to check on the progress. I had already laid down the law about the nest: no one goes out on the back deck without me. I didn't want the kids' curiosity to cause the birds to abandon the nest once they'd laid the eggs, so I vigilantly appointed myself as security for these poor defenseless creatures. I probably didn't need to be so protective. On the occasions when my husband would stand out on the deck and grill, the robins spent the majority of time dive-bombing him. I guess they're not as helpless as I thought, and certainly not willing to abandon their nest so easily.

Eventually the eggs hatched, one the first day, and the other two the next. They were so tiny! The weather was still so chilly, I just wanted to get a little sweater for them when their Mom headed out for something to eat. I have to hand it to my kids. Not a single one touched the nest, or the eggs, or the babies. They surprised me in their restraint, and I'm so proud of my little nature-lovers. Okay, enough of my punks. Back to the babies.

They grew so fast, it was absolutely necessary that I check on them several times a day. If I didn't, I might miss something, you know? Like how their itty bitty wing feathers were the first to appear, then suddenly they went from white fluffy nakedness to tiny feathered robins. Complete with red breasts. Oh my, I could've just melted. The parents got pretty tired of my visits, and began to ignore me when I'd come out for pictures. If they were away from the nest, I'd usually get a scolding when the robin came back and found me leaning over the deck rail. But it was generally half-hearted, I guess they figured their nosey neighbor could have been worse. Note the hairy eyeball I'm receiving from the Mom above, with two babies squashed beneath her.

It all came to an end so unexpectedly. I wasn't prepared. How could they do that to me? My two youngest girls asked to go out and see the birds, and I'd noticed that the babies had been standing up quite a bit in their nest, stretching their legs when Mom and Dad were away. As we leaned over to get a clear view of them, rather than hunkering down as they usually did, two of the babies just burst out of the nest and flew up and away, across the yard into the trees. Oh... My.... Goodness! My babies flew away! The last one left within 15 minutes. They were all gone. Grown up and left without so much as a backwards look at me. Don't they know how much I'd miss them? Don't they know how much time I'd spent watching them and how attached I was to them? Kids. Yeesh!


Deric & Jenna said...

sad that the birds flew away! it was fun to watch them at class this month!!!

memryscrpr said...

it's so amazing to watch isn't it? I have had a nest in the tree outside my living room window. I didn't know when I planted the tree just how close it would end up being as the tree grew. last year I had to sets of babies, that I photographed and then baby bird pictures though are not as good as yours as I had to look through a window and or reach out the window and take blind shots...and hope for the best. Keep watching, you may end up with another set of babies before the year is out!

Stampin n da Hood said...

Oh Treeeesa...ya know that 15 yr old of yours....?
It'll happen sooner than you think!

But yes those little birdies could have stuck around just for another few pictures!

littlegreen said...

oh man, what a fun little experience! thanks for documenting it and sharing it!!

Laurel said...

OMG, I would love to have something so special to observe. My youngest daughter would just be in awe and would check daily too! How lucky for you to have been able to watch this.

Hilary Kanwischer said...

Oh how sweet! I just showed my daughter and she wishes a bird would build a nest on our patio now too. They are so sweet. Nature is so amazing. :)

MissScrapbooker2u said...

Loved this post Tresa. Thanks for sharing it. I'm just happy that the momma bird didn't scare you away, with those dive bombs. LOL Loved the pictures!

Patsy said...

What a lovely adventure for you and your kids to observe. The pics and story were very heart warming. My kids enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing!!

Marcie said...

My daughter loved the photos and your story, what a great journey!

Mare said...

Beautiful documentation! Beautiful birds! Beautiful photos! Beautiful story of life! Worth every moment I spent reading, looking, and reflecting, which you prompted me to do, even after a busy day!


Kristine said...

What a great story! We had a nest on our deck too this year, but it was up high, and impossible to photograph....I am so jealous! You got some great shots. And you MUST scrapbook your story.

Sylvia said...

Loved the story of your robins. We got back from Colorado May 31 to discover a robin's nest in the rafters of our front deck. But something must have happened because the nest was abandoned. A few weeks later I discovered a nest in the rafters of our back deck and it had four babies. It was neat to watch Momma Robin come and feed the little ones and then one day I saw them flying away. I got a few pics but not of the naked little babies.

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