Thursday, July 14, 2011

My hubby's heroic attempt * updated w/new photos!

Feed me, feed me!!!!!

Mama robin keeping watch, worm in mouth
Fledgling robin in the pansies

I'm a night-owl; I like to stay up LATE. So it was about 12:30am, and I had just finished my nightly bed-time cup of tea when I heard, through closed windows and doors, a lot of LOUD incessant chirping. I called to hubby, and he went out with a flashlight. In our driveway was a little part of a bird nest (like a liner made from grasses) fallen from our little tree, and 2 baby birds. Mama and papa were in the nearby trees going NUTS.

Now sometimes my hubby drives me crazy, but then, times like this remind me what a gentle soul he is. (He didn't tell me until later that earlier in the day he'd found a dead baby bird in the yard and had buried it.) Plus, dear, if you are reading this, I know I drive YOU crazy too! Anyhow, we have a lot of neighborhood cats and we were worried that these babies wouldn't survive the night.

So he decided to put the birds back in the nest, most of which was still in the tree. He went into the house for a ladder, and on his way out the door with ladder in hand, Isis (our cat) decided to bolt out the door. Not good. She's a house cat.

So armed with a flashlight, I proceeded to follow Isis all over the neighborhood. Mind you, at this time it is about 1am, and I'm in backyards all over the place, with automatic lights blinking on here and there, half expecting the police to show up. We have some difficult neighbors and I wouldn't have been surprised. After about 10 minutes of a wild goose-chase, occasionally swatting and hissing at me, she decided to come home and ran up the back stairs, and inside as soon as the door was opened. Kitty's big adventure!

Meanwhile, hubby was trying to pick up the birds with a metal spatula, but one kept escaping. Finally, we temporarily put a bowl over the bird who was running, and wearing a pair of garden gloves he put first one bird, and then runner back into the nest. Mama and papa immediately settled down and the rest of the night was quiet.

Fast forward to this morning. Mama is up on the power lines hollering again, and there's the whole nest in the driveway!
And the two babies are waddling across the driveway to the flower beds, where they each found a different "hiding" place.

We've watched as mama has dug up worms, broken them up, and delivered them to her babies. Such a good mama! Do we put them back again? (We're still worried about those neighborhood cats, especially since evidently they already killed one baby.) Hubby called the local wildlife rescue hot-line (or something like that) and they said that they are fledglings and that it is common for them to be kicked out of the nest. Hopefully, with parents watching diligently and keeping them fed, in a day or two they'll be ready to take flight.

Meanwhile, my hubby is my hero. And the birdies will have us keeping our eyes on them for sure!

Below are 2 new photos, taken this afternoon, along with the one at the top of the blog.
We've had our eyes on the birds all day. The little guys have moved around a bit, and my hubby has done a couple more "rescues" - once when one had gotten himself in the middle of the alley behind our house - YIKES - and then the other got himself into some flower stems and was jammed in a tough way to turn around. Mama and papa (I'm really not sure which is which have been around all day keeping an eye on things, and bringing food from time to time. My husband sprays the neighborhood cats with a garden hose to keep them away, but I think we're both very worried about tonight. These babes have GOT to get flying!


  1. Phyl,

    That is so sweet. My husband tried to rescue baby wood ducks once. It didn't end so well. I hope that your birds take flight soon.

    -Mrs. Berry

  2. Very heroic! I know how you feel. I had swallows nesting at my house last summer that kept me so nervous because of the cats next door. A few of them didn't make it. I decided not to endure the trauma this year and wouldn't let the swallows build nests on my porch. I can't stand to see them get hurt.

  3. A couple years ago I found a robin's nest that had fallen in our back yard after a storm. I was so sad that by the time I found them, the babies had basically fried in the heat. I buried them under a tree in the yard. That was nice of you two to rescue them!

  4. Oh my goodness, this is quite a melodrama playing out right under your noses. Good luck - hope they "take to wing" quickly!! (Love the image of you roaming around after the cat in the wee hours!)

  5. Thanks for all the comments - as you can see, I've added more pics, since the birds are letting us get closer. Even the parents seem to recognize we are helping, not hurting.

    Meanwhile, hubby is considering putting tomato cages around the babies tonight to keep away the critters. Not sure it's a good idea - what if they try to get out and get caught in the wire. Oh dear, I don't think it will be an early night tonight either!

  6. Sad news this morning. One fledgling found dead, the other is missing. Last night, hubby didn't want to come inside. He stayed outside pretty late, and watched the more active fledgling scamper across the alley to a gravel driveway. Realizing this was not a good place for it, he put on his garden gloves again to move it, but momma and papa got protective and stared to dive-bomb him. So he had to give up. We found it dead on the gravel driveway this morning. :-(

    Last night he also witnessed the parents chasing a cat and a squirrel away, very aggressively defending their babies. Cool. Meanwhile the other baby had crawled into the day-lilies and disappeared. We don't know if he's alive or dead. Dan buried the dead bird and one of the parents keeps returning to stand in the gravel driveway, I assume looking for the baby. We are both sad today.

  7. That is terrible news. I'm so sad for you and the momma. I have been following this story but haven't commented yet. I know about aggressive moms it kind of runs in our family. That's why I get along best with the mom's who are the pain in the butt mom's at school. I totally respect that and will that way and worse with Stella. How does a bird chase a cat and squirrel that is motherly instincts for ya!

  8. sorry no apostrophe! Where is grammar check when you need it?