Robin 101: I had my first real experience with nesting Robins this week. I came across a very well-camoe'd nest late last, as I was Spring cleaning in the driveway. In my fir tree, I noticed a "mess"....on further investigation, it wasn't a mess, it was a nest, complete with mom and dad Robins, and two youngsters!
Oh happiness! For days I watched from my kitchen window; all I could see was their little beaks open, it seemed, 24/7, waiting on food from m&d. Once I got close to the nest and managed to get this shot:
Friday night, on returning from errands, this little one was on the ground in my yard; called him/her "mickeybird", after my dear friend and their Auntie, "Mickey" up in Ottawa.
Wow! s/he fledged! But where's bird #2? I really thought there was a bird #3, but I think at the end of the day I was mistaken...
So, updating Mick in Ottawa by e-mail, she's delighted mickeybird is on the ground; loves the pictures, but demands to know, where's "mitchbird"? :) OK, so I take her up on it...
Friday afternoon, after seeing a client out, I came into my office only to find mitchbird on my "perch" outside my office. (you gotta love those unisex names! mick and I always have!) Here's the independent, resilient little cuss! Never had an animal name-sake before -- feel she suits me. Hair out of place, extremely adventurous, not-afraid-of-you-human-at-all, kind of little bird, and be damned if you don't like my outfit!
Of course, I'm on Facebook as much as possible, getting kind and solid council from Sue Coules, Gervais Vignola, amongst others, as I'd never been through the drama of fledgling robins before!
So, all day Friday, I watched momma (possibly dad) dive-bomb Grackles who were threatening the babies; broke up a spectacular bitch out between mom and dad and my squirrel Bash (who is currently a nursing mother) -- and of course, Stella had been on lock down for at least 24 hours, who's been denied her yard, cause the babies were in it! This is mom and mickeybird hanging in back yard.
And mom policing... I saw her yesterday, on the clothesline with her partner, they were both swinging in the breeze, but mom had her eyes shut -- she was exhausted! Can't blame her!
This morning, I had to leave Stella and the house at the crack of dawn, to help a friend who is moving, and was having a garage sale. No sign of the birds.
Robin 102: No SIGN!
Who ya gonna call? GERVAIS! Tonight, Gervais advises that robins are greatly affected by the heat and have either a) gone to ground in the tall grasses in my yard or b) have moved on. Apparently, they join other Robin groups to "draft" and travel in a pack... (there's strength in numbers)...
I policed every square inch of the yard - no sign of mickey or mitchbird, nor mom nor dad. So apparently, they have moved on. What a relief (for Stella); what a strange disappointment for me (who was really looking forward to seeing them grow and fly, as long as they weren't taken out by Grackles, small mammals, etc. in front of my very eyes). Such drama!
So my little Robin family appears to be gone. Gervais advises, being so "early in the season" mom and dad might come back and hatch another batch in their spectacular nest!
I don't know, I feel I need some recovery time. But if they do, they are MOST welcome. Meanwhile, here's me and Auntie Mick, toasting mickeybird and mitchbird, wishing them NOTHING but the best in their darling, new lives. Good luck little ones.
Next week in RescueDiaries: Toronto Street Cats' Spray and Neuter extravaganza! Wait until you SEE the amazing work of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, spaying and neutering Toronto's Street Cats. You've got to see it to believe it! Look for a
RescueDiaries upload to YouTube on Friday afternoon, next!
I'm taking Sunday off. I think I'll garden and play Kong with Stella, now that birds have moved on. What a cool experience. Have to trust that Robin family is ok.