How lucky I am to wake up to the songs, sights, and antics of the birds in the tree outside my window. The melody of the wren is cheery and a delight to wake up to. I have put a small yellow birdhouse in the tree and in resides a family of little wrens. I got to see as they brought small twig after twig and stuffed them through the small entry hole. I got to watch them scoot away from the robin who used the tree as the perch with which to guard his nest in a nearby bush. But despite the robin’s apparent intimidating presence, the wrens still managed to scoot in and out of their cozy abode, all the while entertaining the human in the window.
City/suburban living (technically we are in the suburbs, but the city is just a few blocks away): baby robins in a nest under the eaves, deer prancing down the street, a blond, baby raccoon running furiously across the front lawn, and of course, bats in the belfry?
It has been a dramatic time in the wild-life sector, and it isn’t even summer yet!
It amazed me how quickly the robins went from feather-less lumps to fledglings crowded together and amping up to fly from the nest. It takes a village because a number of adult robins spent several days urging these young ones to fly and when one of my dogs came too close, she was aptly dive-bombed. Anyway, my anxiety level increased when the fledglings perched on the edge of the nest.
And so, my “vigil” began. I looked out to make sure there were no young ones flapping around on the ground or flying low, as first-flyers do, before letting my pack out to do their business. I also put a leash on my little huntress who has been known to grab low-flying birds out of the air and catch squirrels and rabbits. At least with a leash on her I could catch her quickly. In fact, once I had let the dogs out and saw a young robin flapping that I’d somehow missed during my inspection of the yard before letting my dogs out. The bird was over by our chain link fence, and when I approached, she tried to make her way through it. However, she couldn’t quite squeeze through, so I gave her a little boost and off she safely went.
However, the bad news is that one of the fledglings didn’t make it and I am assuming my high prey-drive girl managed to grab the little thing when I wasn’t looking. The good news: no sign of the other three which I’m hoping means they have made it safely to becoming adult robins.
As spring morphs into summer and life in the wild marches on, I’m hoping that next year I’ll find another robin’s nest under the eaves.
You’ve surely heard of “A bird in the hand.” Well, I have a bird on the foot. My precious cockatiel Grant (my good friend has his brother who she named Lou) is an odd duck, er, I mean bird. (Aren’t ducks birds?) He is a bit standoffish, doesn’t like to fly, eats like a, ah, flying pig, and is obsessed with my feet.
Yes, that’s correct, my feet. You see, Grant’s cage is up on a high stand, and shortly after I remove him from it and put him on top of the cage for a change of scenery, he flop-flies down to the floor and toddles to my feet which are usually under the desk as shown here. He then scrambles up onto my shoe where he happily meditates. Frankly, I do feel plenty foolish with a bird thusly ensconced on my foot.
I’ve had a number of birds in my life, but never have I had one with such an unfailing foot fetish.
My good friend asked me to go with her to a local bird store several months ago. I should have known better because this was right after my beloved cockatiel died. As soon as we walked into the store, Ryan, the manager, thrust this little, feather-less creature into my hand and it was love at first flight!
Of course, the story is complicated, but the bottom line is that I am now “mother” to Ethel, my adorable, 4-month old green cheek conure.
This is just a brief introduction, but there will be many more tales to come.
Hint: How Ethel loves to watch what’s on my computer screen and add to its interest by pecking at the touch screen to see what she can come up with next,