Sunday, May 19, 2013

The story of the baby birds

Spring might be my new favorite season.  When I lived in PA and Boston I leaned more towards Fall and Winter, but now that we're in Atlanta the Falls feel more like Spring and the Winters can be cold & dreary, but without the beautiful, fun snow.  Especially now that we have a house we are noticing how much of a difference it makes having all the trees, bushes and flowers in bloom in our yard and the neighborhood.   So much nicer!  Along with Spring and new plant life comes baby birds...and baby birds we got.  On April 11th, after I got home from my first day at my new job, I went outside on our back deck and found this mess along with a perfect little nest in my flowers.

The way the nest was built the opening faced the side of the house, so for me to actually look inside the nest I had to carefully turn the planter.  Within about a week there were was an egg!  I eventually counted up to 4 eggs in that tiny nest.

About 2 1/2 weeks later I checked the nest and saw at least 1 baby bird head looking back at me.  It was so exciting to watch the progress inside the nest right outside our door.  

Since Rob really isn't a fan of birds I didn't know if I should tell him about the baby birds on the way, but I couldn't help myself so first I made him promise he wouldn't freak out or do anything about what I was about to tell him.  As it turned out, whether I told Rob or not he would have found out pretty quickly, because Roxanne became obsessed with the birds in the nest.  She loves being out on the deck as it is, and with the birds chirping she loved being out there even more.  Sometimes she would just sit and stare at the nest when she heard the chirping.

Sometimes she would lay on the deck and carefully watch all sides of the deck so she wouldn't miss the parent birds' frequent trips to and from of the nest with food.

My mom also had a birds nest in her yard and she told me her birds flew away about a week or so ago, so I knew my birds would be leaving the nest soon.  I checked on them yesterday and I still saw at least 2 little bird heads looking back at me.  So today I was cleaning the kitchen and I had the door to the deck open to let some cooler air in.  I heard a loud chirping and went out and saw a bird latched on to the side of my brown patio rocking chair in the picture above.  I knew it was either an unsure baby bird or an injured adult bird, but soon enough it flew away and I figured it must have been a baby leaving the nest.  So I turned the planter to look and see if the nest was empty.  Surprisingly I still saw birds inside looking back at me and when I went to turn the planter back two babies flew out right at me and I screamed like a crazy person.  One landed on the deck behind my plant stand and one went and grasped onto the side of the patio chair like I saw the other one doing earlier.  I felt so bad that I may have scared the birds right out of their nest, I was just hoping that they really could fly now that they were out.  I went out into the yard and watched from a distance so that they wouldn't be scared to do whatever they needed to do.  I saw one slowly hop across the deck and eventually fly into the rose bush nearby, and then the other flew from our door to window ledge to window ledge and eventually into a tree.  Then one more bird came out of the nest and slowly made its way across the deck and into the yard.  I later found that all of them had pooped on my deck or chair as soon as they got out of the nest, maybe from shock or maybe they just really had to go.  And then the saddest thing was seeing the mom bird fly to the nest only to quickly discover all her babies were gone.  She sat there near the nest for a minute just chirping really loudly.  I know this cycle happens all the time and all works out just fine as it should, but when you are standing there in your yard watching it happen it just becomes much more real and dramatic haha.

As if it wasn't hard enough to feel guilty for scaring birds right out of their nest and seeing the mom come back to an empty nest, I still had to break the news to Roxanne that her little friends were gone for good.  I brought her outside and she immediately went over to the nest to smell it and then she smelled like crazy all over the deck and looked a little confused.  I told her they were all gone and she still wanted to lay at the door and keep watch just in case they came back.

I'm sure Roxanne will get over it soon, but it really was cute watching her become so intrigued with the birds.  Maybe next year a new bird couple will make their nest in another one of our plants.  Roxanne can only hope!  (and Rob can hope not)