(A running commentary compiled over the days since the last post.)
We named our baby robins the Four Stooges: Moe, Larry, Curly, and Shemp. We don’t know who’s who yet, but one seems a bit bigger and one seems a bit smaller, so we’ll call the big one Moe and the little one Shemp.
Update: Shemp has disappeared! Did he fall out of the nest? Did Momma Robin push him out because she knew she couldn’t find enough food for four babies? Did the bigger siblings eat him? I wish we could have known what happened.
One grossly interesting fact we’ve learned is that mom eat’s her baby’s poop! She feeds them, one poops and she gobbles it up immediately, I suppose in an effort to keep the nest clean. I don’t know what she does with the poop, but since she flies away immediately after doing that, I like to think she spits it out on the lawn.
It’s hard to not watch them. I check every time I’m in kitchen, go onto the porch and look at them up close through the screen. Are they used to us since they’ve seen/heard us from Day One?
They seem to grow exponentially each day. Used to be the four of them seemed lost inside the nest. Now the three remaining are crammed in like sardines. Moe is definitely the biggest of the remaining three. He gets fed first and is more active. Recently he started hogging the nest and sitting more or less on top of Larry and Curly.
One morning I went out to the porch to say hi to my lil’ buddies, and the biggest two half-jumped, half-flew out of the nest down into the garden! I hope I didn’t scare them into prematurely flying and not being able to get back into the nest. The smallest one–Curly–seemed to enjoy his spacious new digs for a few hours, but by that afternoon, he was also gone. I think the nest has served its purpose and they’ll no longer use it.
We’ve seen them hanging around now and then, and I think one of them flew into our family room window this morning (birds tend to do that for some reason). The reflection of trees in our yard on that window must seem like more trees. A few birds have died by hitting that window and we find their bodies in the window well. One was knocked silly for a while and we’ll never know if he survived. We at least put him up on the grass and gave him a chance to recover and survive.
The other day, one of the Stooges got stuck in our other window well and could only fly up about half the four-foot depth, so I had to scoop him up and set him free with a reprimand to learn from that lesson.
The other nest is empty now, too. I don’t see the adult robins around as much as I used to, and I don’t know if the babies hang around here because they consider our yard to be “home” or if they have to find another patch of ground to hunt and survive on. It was fun watching the whole reproducing journey play out over the last few months. Nature is amazing at what she provides for each species to survive and thrive in its particular environment.
Humans are the only ones with the ability to alter our environments to a significant degree. My question: On balance, do you think we’ve altered our environment for better, or for worse? What would life be like if humans were just like any other species and could only accept the environment they were born into?