• 12Jun

    A few weeks ago, I noticed a very messy nest made in the curve of the downspout on the side of the shed. My neighbor said it was a mourning dove nest. Mourning doves are one of my favorite birds. So I made a special point of telling any workmen around to be careful of the nest.

    I googled it, and apparently the birds are known for their very untidy nests.

    But I never saw any birds in it and forgot about it. One day, a robin flew over my head and landed…in the nest. I hadn’t noticed, but she’d built a very tidy nest on top of it. It was like this: mourning dove nest: built by Juli; nest on top: built by very organized hubby. Such a difference, and I need to try and take a picture.

    Normally, I’m not fond of the robins. In the past, they have mowed down my entire vegetable garden of seedlings. Nobody would believe me, and said it had to be cutworms, but I put foil collars on my seedlings to prevent cutworms, plus I’d seen a robin do the deed. She just chopped it off with her beak, let the plant parts fall over and then flew away. Destruction for no purpose at all, and I was MAD. Plus I had to replant the entire garden.

    After that, I used vinyl bird netting and a system of foil pieces on string, that I would weave throughout the garden. Oh, I tried making mean faces on old CDs and hanging them on stakes, but that did not work. I thought about getting a fake owl or snake, but was chatting with an old timer at a nursery. He said robins did that to get stuff for their nest, and you only had to survive a week or so, and then they were done.

    Once I learned that, I did the netting for about two weeks, then removed it, and haven’t had a problem with birds since.

    So this robin had built a new nest, and it was obvious she was sitting on her eggs. It’s too high up to look into the nest, without a ladder. But I’ve enjoyed her intense concentration and the glaring looks she gives me when I looked at her and her nest.

    I kept watching, but for the last couple of days, forgot about the nest. It just hit me, and I ran outside. The nest was empty…..but within seconds, there she flew, into the nest, a worm in her mouth. And I saw teeny tiny heads and beaks sticking up!!! She’s birthed her babies!

    I’m so excited. It’s the first time I’ve actually seen a bird’s nest in real life with baby birdies! My whole life I’ve lived in the country, and we allowed cats and dogs outside. So bird watching (or feeding) has never been an option until my move to the burbs. I really detest the burbs, although I confess liking some of the perks (like not having to drive fifteen minutes to run out for a loaf of bread, plus cable TV and DSL, and not being last on the list when power lines go down).

    But being in the burbs means it’s not safe to let the cats outside anymore. On the flip side, for the first time, I can feed the birds. And now I’ve seen my first nest of baby robins. Imagine growing up in the country, a farm girl on a horse, and she’s never seen a nest of baby birds. Baby chickens, yes. Baby cows, piglets, rabbits, and other mammals, check. But wildlife? Nope, other than some possums I rescued, Mike and Possie. I was a kid then, hence the clever names.

    I did see a fledgling last year, which was very exciting. He wasn’t excited, though, because I was oohing and ahing, and it invaded his bird space.

    Baby birdies!!! I get excited at the silliest things.

    Filed under: UnGardening
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    Posted: June 12, 2008 at 2:46 pm

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