Sunday, June 9, 2013

This little wild life

We had an unexpected visitor again. While the husband and oldest daughter got ready for the school bus, a passerby alerted them to a little robin fledgling that had fallen out of its nest. The nest was so high above the middle of our road, in a tree.
We knew that without a cherry-picker truck, we wouldn't be able to return the baby to the nest, which is Plan A in a situation like this.  The fledgling was shivering, wet and silent. I took him or her inside in a small box, warmed him up under a lamp and fed him a few earthworms. At that point, we started hearing some little bird noises and (s)he eventually moved away from the warm light a little.
 I called a local wildlife clinic for advice and they instructed me to place the baby robin in a nearby tree or shrub. I fashioned a small shelter and stuck the whole box into the apple tree nearest to the original nest. Now to stalk the situation.... we hoped to see mom or dad come and feed the youngster, who in a few short days, should be able to fly.
Throughout the day, we could hear the baby bird chirp, but we didn't see any adults... and then, oh dear. Storm Andrea came through. Big, windy and very wet. I woke up from the wind at night, thinking it was a train, it was so loud. I was thinking of that baby bird out in the wet and cold. The next morning, before the kids were up, I went to check. First thing I found was the original birds' nest knocked down by the high winds. Then, I peeked into the cardboard box and this is what I saw (hard photo to take, trying not to intrude):
   The bird had made it through the night and had its eyes open (except when I took the picture, of course). (S)he had moved over from the spot under the roof, and I saw a lot of droppings. So far so good! We saw robins near it, but didn't observe anyone attending to the baby. From the fact that the fledgling was active and pooping, and knowing birds that age need to eat every 20 minutes or so, we suspected that he was being taken care of. The storm had passed and it was a warm, sunny day.
Another 24 hours later, I checked in the early morning on my way to swim, and found the fledgling sitting there, plump and happy looking. After I came back from my swim, much excitement in the driveway:

There it was sitting on the edge of the box, taking in the world. We went to church and came back a few hours later to an empty nest box. Someone had learned to fly and taken off into the big wild world. Good luck! Have a strawberry, it's on the house.


  1. The last picture, the last sentence... are the best !

  2. Thank you! I love such stories, and such people too, those who risk their lives stopping in the road to pick up the snapping turtles crossing. All little lives count!

  3. Meredith/GreenCircleGroveJune 19, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Yay! Love the story. I'm glad it had a happy ending.