Monday, June 13, 2011

Empty nest syndrome

Juvenuile robin
I was sipping my coffee on the back deck a couple of weeks ago when a bird landed on the railing.

"AWK!" It flew away fast.  If it had eyebrows they would have been raised in surprise.  So much to take in when you are trying out your new wings.

The speckled breast made it look like an exotic new species.  I wasn't entirely sure what kind of bird it was until the parent called.

The birds training their young ones.  I don't speak Robin, but I'm pretty sure the advice was not to get so close.


The cardinals flew the nest the end of May.  I didn't see the chicks leave, but I did see and hear the parents calling them from the nest.  Both the male and female were trilling away, only about 30 feet.  The chicks were chirping furiously and occasionally one of the parents would fly in and out.  Not feeding them but coaxing them to try to find some bugs on their own.  The chicks were a bit slow to take the hint, but by the time I came home the nest was empty.  I miss them after weeks of studying their habits.  Such a beautiful pair - what a privilege to watch them build their nest and then fly in and out to feed the chicks.  Sorry to see them go - and I didn't even have time to start taking them for granted!  I think I caught a glimpse of the juvenile male, wobbling in its flight path, a strange mottling of colour.

The chickadees were the last to vacate.  The parents vigilantly flying in and out of the birdhouse, feeding their young long after the cardinals had left.  One day, loud squawking and a big kerfuffle in the morning; no chirping by the end of day.

I hope these pairs return to nest in my backyard next year.

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