Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A Happy Ending?

Photo credit: Jennifer Vander Klipp
So after my disappointment at the destruction of my baby robin nest, I had hoped to be able to watch the growth of baby cardinals outside my bathroom window.

We were getting ready for church and I heard a lot of chirping and squawking outside. The cats seemed quite interested, moving from window to window. I finished getting ready and then carefully lifted the window shade in the bathroom to check on the baby cardinals.

They were gone! The nest was empty. I scanned the ground and bush as best as I could from my vantage point, thinking maybe they had tried to fly. I have no idea how long it takes baby birds to be ready to do that.

Hurrying outside and around the back, I tried to see what I could find. The nest was empty, no baby birds in sight. I peered in the leaf litter under the bush. Maybe they fell out? I couldn’t see evidence of what had happened, but I kept looking, hoping to find something, anything.

Then I saw the slightest movement in the leaves. I took a stick and slowly started moving leaves around. Nothing turned up and I thought maybe it was just some creature or the wind.

Then I saw it. A bit of matted baby bird feather. I moved the leaves away and saw the baby on its back, beak open, looking like he (she?) was trying to squeak, but no sound came out. I wanted to put him (or her) back in the nest, but I was frankly a little too grossed out to touch him. I know, I’m such a girl. So I did what all good girls do and yelled for my husband. He came out and scooped the baby bird up with some leaves and laid him (or her) back in the nest.

We had to rush off to church, and I had no idea if the baby was injured or would survive or what had happened. There’s was nothing I could do about it anyway.

When we came back from church I hustled back to the nest before even going into the house. It was empty once again. Sigh. There must have been some predator in my backyard. Which would have explained the cats’ interest in what was going on outside earlier that morning. Turning to go back inside I saw a baby bird body already being attacked by insects. Yuck.

So. No happy ending this time. But I never would have had this kind of excitement back in my cubicle. The birds and their nests spurred me on to learn more about the creatures around me. And now I wonder what the change of seasons will bring.

Looking forward in eager anticipation…

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