Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Second Chance?

So in my last post I shared how I loved watching momma robin build her nest. But I was frustrated by one thing: from my angle, I couldn’t see inside the nest. I didn’t know if she had laid her eggs, and if so, how many. My brave husband to the rescue! He climbed up on the roof to get a picture of the nest.

Three adorable little eggs. I couldn’t wait to see them hatch and watch the baby birds right outside my window.

Two days later I noticed Momma wasn’t on her nest. I waited and waited and she didn’t come back all day. Something was wrong. Remembering my research, I suspected something had gone wrong with the nest. And it had. I found crushed baby blue shells in the front lawn and in my planting bed.

I see the empty nest through the window every time I walk into my office. I was surprised how melancholy I felt about it. I had looked forward to seeing baby robins hatch, hearing their noisy squeals for food, and seeing Momma push them out of the nest. All of that was cut short.

It is the way of nature of course. In my research I discovered only 20% of robin eggs actually survive to maturity. I’m not going to make a glib comment about the circle of life or anything like that. The momma and daddy robin still remain in our yard, claiming it as part of their territory. I saw the daddy robin with a piece of twig in his beak, and I hoped that they had found a safer place to build another nest. Though I’m sorry I won’t be able to see it.

And then one morning it looked like I might have a second chance at watching baby birds hatch.

Our bathroom window swings out from the top when you open it, like an awning. I was cranking it open when I saw a flutter of a bird leaving the bush that sits under the window. I peered through the screen to see if there were more. And I saw this:

Three perfect little spotted eggs. I had no idea what kind of bird this was until a couple of days later. The momma would always fly off when I opened the window, but not too far. One time she was squatting on the lawn, and I could see the crest on her head that marked her as a cardinal.

This nest had the advantage of being at a better angle for viewing the eggs but the disadvantage of having the window scare Momma off every time we opened it. Since the weather was nice, we generally left it open. I didn’t want Momma to leave her nest for very long.

And in the same way that we were careful entering the room when the robin could see us, we had to be careful in the bathroom not to startle Momma cardinal.

One morning I walked into the bathroom and heard a faint squealing sound. Peering around the corner I saw this:

My hopes of seeing baby birds eat and grow and leave the nest looked like they would be realized. Or so I thought. (To be continued.)

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