Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Circle of Life


Baby robins day 8

Some varmint ate the killdeer's eggs last night. Today nothing remains but the hollow where the mother and father faithfully took turns sitting for two weeks. All for naught.

On a happy note, Violet the Semi-Stray Cat was glad to get back outside.

A robin made a nest in the playhouse atop the swingset. Two weeks ago Mr. T and Mr. B came running to show me the bright blue eggs they found. Oh dear--we put them back and moved away from the swingset to see if the mama would return. She did. Whew.

We checked daily to see whether the eggs would hatch or the journey around the yard in little boy hands scrambled the chicks irreparably. Two hatched out. Baby robins are such vulnerable creatures. We stood back breathlessly waiting to see if they'd grow.

A few days later Mr. B and I were in the yard. "Mom, can I have 3 worms?" he asked. Sure thing. I turned over some dirt with a shovel and picked out 3 earthworms and handed them over. Then my brain caught up to his and I followed him across the yard and up to the playhouse. There stood Mr. B with a baby robin in one hand, worm dangling from the other. He was ready to feed it.

Oh honey--baby robins are like baby people. They need soft mashed food because they can't chew yet, I explained. I took the baby bird from him and laid it carefully back in the nest, terrified that we may have broken it somehow. Can they be moved safely? Mr. B put the worms in the nest for the mother to chew up and regurgitate for her offspring. I assured him she'd be grateful for his help.

We've checked in with the robins daily and they have now doubled in size and their little bodies pulse with the rhythm of heartbeat and breath. According to Mr. D, the nest on the west side of the house just hatched out. We've got a regular Maternity Ward for Feathered Friends going on here. I'm sure it's only bound to get busier as the trees grow bigger and the subdivision sprawl nearby keeps destroying other habitat.

***

Baseball is over for the Varsity players. They lost their first regional game, but ended the season with the best win/loss record in decades and a respectable representation on the 1st and 2nd all-conference teams. We're glad to have Mr. D back full-time.

***
I sat through a soccer game for the first time without requiring a cup of hot tea, flannel jammies and an extra blanket afterwards to help get the chill out of my bones afterwards. Saturday night we had the first hot dogs on the grill for the summer season. In keeping with tradition, we pulled up lawn chairs around the grill and Mr. D put them on one at a time--toasting the buns, too. We ate them with some ketchup and mustard and washed them down with beer (for the over 21 crowd) and Gatorade (for the under 21 crowd). We used no plates, had no other side dishes on the menu. Those hot dogs tasted delicious.

I imagine the varmint thought the same thing while snarfing down those killdeer eggs.

16 comments:

  1. How wonderful that your boy can watch this amazing transformation from tiny babies to gawky adolescent birds learning to fly. He'll never forget it.

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  2. Aw, I hope you get to see the eggs hatch! How fun.

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  3. Aw, I hope you get to see the eggs hatch! How fun.

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  4. Aw, I hope you get to see the eggs hatch! How fun.

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  5. And those boys will make wonderful daddies some day

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  6. We lost two nests of baby robins to varmints...it's the circle of life, I know, but sad.

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  7. I just put up pictures of our baby robins! They grow so FAST!

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  8. There is nothing like that first dog! We had marshmallows on the fire here in the city over the weekend, and I wore a t-shirt instead of a parka!

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  9. I still have the nest from last year's barn swallows! We put it on our Xmas tree and then I just couldn't dump it and we have it in tissue paper in a basket with faux eggs now (no bugs) and everyone who sees it remarks on the intertwining of bits of vines and feather, even a few strings they found. Such good lessons for your Trio.
    Ah, Dad back from BB land and hot dogs on the grill--does it get any better?

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  10. Hey, more bird lovers! Cool! Isn't it neat to watch the little critters grow, and then finally fly off from the nest?

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  11. hellooooo! your blog is so much better on a real computer. lots of pictures! now me, i have the picture thing SORTED!

    we got to watch a snake eating a frog the other day. not quite as nice as baby birds!

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  12. This all sounds great--especially the cooking out with no dishes to do.

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  13. The poor killdeers.

    I'm glad the rest of your baby birds are thriving. It's great that your kids get to see that.

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  14. they are sooooooo sweet - how sad to lose the killdears.

    We are having bird problems too!

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