Friday, May 8, 2009

Fledglings! And an Update

Last week, our baby bunnies moved out and are now on their own. I'd read online that they're weaned after only two short weeks, so I guess we stumbled upon their nest only a few days before they were ready to leave home. Precious Daughter was disappointed. The Oracle had taken Mighty B. out, so I figured I'd take her outside and let her see the rabbits up close. Instead, we got a good look at an unoccupied little grass-lined hole. Ah well.

Yesterday, Precious Daughter is singing and dancing in the front yard. I'm changing Kryptonite when Precious Daughter lets out a mighty strange yipyawp and I hear her come in.

She tells me she stepped on a bird. Oh, crap.

My first thought is that some territorial blue jay smacked into the front window and was laying on the front porch, stunned. She's all freaked out, and I ask her where the bird is. It turns out that the bird is somewhere in the grass.

We carefully walk around the lawn and find a baby robin. The robin doesn't look smooshed or injured, thank God. Maybe she just brushed it with her sneaker. I don't know. I do know that if the bird is injured internally, Precious Daughter won't know about it if I can help it, because her worrisome nature is such that she'll carry that guilt to the grave.

I also see that there are two very agitated robins chirping their heads off in the evergreen tree. As I'm peering up into the branches, Precious Daughter yells excitedly that she's found a second baby bird. Uh-oh. It looks like someone's nest got blown apart in the recent winds.

I look up in the tree for a nest, and I don't see one. Either it got destroyed or it's too high. It doesn't matter how they ended up on the ground. It's clear that putting the birdies back in the nest isn't an option, so I place another call to the wildlife rescue that had proven so helpful with the bunnies.

The end result is a very silly-looking arrangement. I've tied a basket in the tree as high as I could reach without tipping over the ladder and placed the babies inside. Wildlife Lady said that robins are good mothers, and she'll feed the babies if she feels safe reaching them.

In my head I've dubbed the babies "Flatman" (the one PD thought she hurt) and "Bobbin" (because he was bobbing in the grass, trying to move). The parents have been back and forth to the basket fairly frequently, and I'm relieved.

This morning, I spotted the baby I named Bobbin perched on the edge of the basket, looking scared and a little peevish. I'm wondering if he's hungry, and I call Wildlife Lady again. She said the bird is getting ready to fly. I don't know how he could since he's covered with pinfeathers, but what do I know?

I am concerned that I haven't seen Flatman. I can see he's still in the basket, but I don't hear any peeping or see anything moving.

I want to get pictures of them anyway, but rather than freak out the parents with another ladder escapade, I'll blindly aim the camera into the basket and let it see what's there. I hope Flatman is just dawdling behind Robin, and I'll get to see him perched on the basket edge too. I'm basing that hope on the notion that the parent birds would probably push the dead baby out of the "nest" and I'd find it at the base of the tree. What do you think?

Edited to add: I finally took some pictures. I didn't get too close to the basket for an "inside" shot of Flatman because Mama Bird was having a hissyfit. I'm also afraid of scaring Bobbin off his perch, because I'd have to practically put the camera into the basket for the shot. I have to think about this. I stood beneath the basket for the following shot. The others were taken from the patio.

I wonder if he could really fly with these mangy-looking feathers. "Mo-om!? What's taking so long? I'm hunnnngryyyyy!"

The following is with very little "zoom" on the camera. Mama Robin is in the lower right field of the picture on the patch of grass between the edge of the street and the forever-dead dirt track worn by Knucklehead's attempts to chase cars without getting zapped. Trace your eye up the trunk to find the basket. If you're interested in knowing, this tree is dying. It's loaded with bare spots and dead branches. I'm bummed. Where are the bats going to live?

"Hi, Mom!!! What tookya so long?"

"Sorry, kiddo, I would have been here sooner but that freaky human is watching us."

*** Update *** Flatman seems to be dead. I stood on a stepstool and took blind aim with the camera. Flatman is just laying there in the bottom. Damnit. I hope being back off the ground and with his sibling at least made him feel a little bit safe.

1 comment:

Coffee Bean said...

I really like you! This is an awesome post. I'm sorry about the little bird. I hate it when you try to save wildlife and they die. I'm very much like you about these sorts of things. My parents would have just thrown the birds in the trash.