Monday, June 11, 2012

B41. Baby Birds Round 2

Yes, I just posted a blog about baby birds.  This one is round two.  Robins must be on 2-week calendars.  2 weeks between laying eggs and hatching them.  2 weeks between hatching and flying away. And then 2 weeks before the mama bird returns to the nest to lay more eggs?  I have shared my back deck with the Robin family for over 2 months now!

Wed., May 2, I watched with joy and sadness as my first baby robins left the nest over my deck door and set out on their own. You can see that first story here:  After they left, I often checked to see if they might come back just to perch, but I never caught sight of the babies, even around the yard.

Two weeks later though, Wed., May 16, when I stepped out onto my deck, a robin flew from the nest. I smiled at the familiar sight. 30 minutes later I peeked out my living room window, and there she was, sitting on the nest again, just like "old times"!  A few minutes later, when she had left for a break, I set my ladder back up and checked the nest.  Yay! 2 new eggs, probably laid yesterday and today, with more likely on the way! Another month of miracle-watching for me!

Thurs., May 17: Yep, egg number 3!

Fri. I was leaving on vacation for 9 days and expected there might be a fourth egg before I left, but when I checked before leaving, there were still 3.  I left, happy for the Mama and Daddy birds that I would not be disturbing them for a while, and expecting that I would arrive back home just before the first one was to hatch.

Mon., May 28: I returned from my trip, excited to check the nest.  Mama bird was sitting on the nest, and  when I caught her once sitting on the edge of the nest as if feeding, I knew there might already be a baby!

Ah - welcome, sweet little baby bird!!

Tues., May 28: The second baby hatched, and I could see a little bit of blue in the nest which didn't look like it could be a complete egg, so I wondered if maybe there were 3 babies sleeping in the nest.  The next day though there was no sign of blue, and there seemed to be only 2 babies.  I saw no sign of tragedy, but I never knew what happened to the third.  So, two newly hatched naked little birds, again!

Next several days, two babies seemingly sleeping around the clock except when Mama and Daddy birds were delivering worms!

By Saturday, June 2 they had soft fuzzy little heads and were growing some feathers.

By Friday, June 8, they and their feathers had grown to fill the nest, looking almost like a coiled up snake.  Still just sleeping and eating.

Saturday morning, June 9, however, the nest was bustling with activity.  The babies were poking their little heads out   looking at the outside world, often lifting their feathers or seemingly grooming each other with their beaks.  They were fun to watch all weekend, and I couldn't keep myself away from the window, despite the daddy bird's dislike.  I was careful though not to go out where I might scare the babies into flying too soon.  I hoped I would get to watch their flight, knowing from last time that they would not be returning, and I knew they were nearing that time.

Sunday morning I watched in my front yard as another baby robin hopped around the grass searching for worms.  It comforted me to see that its daddy was keeping a watchful eye, especially once he spotted me in the window.  Hopping along behind the wobbly-winged toddler, he was on guard.  Having wondered if my baby birds were on their own once they left the nest, I was happy to see this side story!

Monday, June 11, I checked the nest before leaving for several hours.  The babies were still there, not pacing the ledge like the first set did before flying.  Probably tomorrow morning, I thought.  But when I got back home to check on them, there was an unusual silence.  No moving around.  No daddy bird shouting his warnings of my presence.  Cautiously I climbed the ladder to peer into the empty nest.  Nothing there but downy fuzz.

A little bit of emptiness in me too, as round two closes.  I'm OK though with an empty nest now until next Spring. I'll reclaim my deck for reading and sipping tea, and I'll keep an eye out for little robin toddlers hopping around the yard.  Godspeed, my little robins.


RuthAnn said...

Did you see the Killdeer and her eggs that were in the pathway of the labyrinth I walked yesterday?

Kathy said...

Hi RuthAnn - I looked for the Kildeer but somehow missed it. Is it in the foreground? On the labyrinth?