Tag Archive: birds


On April 12, 2010 I did a blog entry about the pair of doves I got to ‘know’ from the previous years.  Then this Spring I wrote about seeing the single dove left from the pair.  I hear the cooing.  I don’t hear an ‘answer.’  I don’t see the mate.  There is no nest being built in the carport.

Today, the dove is back.  Alone.   Calling for it’s mate.  And looking a bit ragged.  I got my camera…..

Trying to find a place to hide..

One last look around....no mate.

I wonder how many years this dove will make the trip here alone….

You just Know that involving yourself with any kind of wildlife can be fun and exciting, but it can also be very nerve-wracking.  That being the case, I was not surprised to get the following message.

Mary:  Panic, panic a while ago.  I looked out window and momma/papa was acting funny. flapping wings like mad but not going to nest. my first thoughts one of our babes fell from nest. so when parents flew off i did a head count and 4 are still in nest.
Then it dawned on me… do you think they were trying to coax babies from nest?  I have a hand rail across from lattice where nest is and that’s where momma was flapping and flapping. she also had food in her mouth.
seems a little too soon to be coaxing them away from nest.
Just “grandma” worrying about her kids. lol lol
Stay tuned. xoxoxoxoxo

Ok, if you have been following my blog posts for any length of time you Know that I am, by nature, a Rescuer.  How the heck am I going to rescue baby robins in another state?  I don’t know, but all it took was that message.   I was sure going to try something!  The message had come in a couple of hours earlier, so I needed details.  Geesh, Allie….

Me:  Were the two birds fighting?  Was one of them a stranger, perhaps, and the other one a parent protecting her/his babies?  Did you see a rodent near the nest?  Did you see a strange bird nearby?

Mary:  that’s just it, didn’t see anything else around.  hasn’t happened since and have seen a parent going to nest feeding babes a little bit ago. really strange whatever was going on.   there was no fight. so guess at this time all is okay with our family.
Could have been something down on ground between rail and where porch starts.  After parent flew away and I checked on babies, looked on ground and didn’t see anything, but whatever could have taken off by that time.  so u dont think parent was trying to get babe to go to her for food?

Me:  I really have no idea (just a lot of frustration, even though I wouldn’t have been able to do anything anyway if I Could “magically appear 1000 miles from here in a flash”….which I dearly wanted to do!). Did you put him back in? Are his eyes open? Maybe parents bitching him out for being such a pig? Oh, ya…..Hi, Mary!    7:36 PM
Me:  Maybe the parents were yelling at the other kids to be more aggressive about getting some food?    7:38 PM
Me:  Or, maybe he was in trouble for breaking curfew?    7:38 PM

Mary: He never fell out, just almost. boy I came close to reaching out for him tho. lol lol but cant do that. momma would then abandon him.     7:48 PM
pic on its way!    7:52 PM

Phew!  Another Crisis successfully averted.  Oh, don’t ask!  Just go along with me on this.

Another message from Mary:  Check your e-mail….picture coming!

Four Beautiful Robins...all Hungry photo by John

Mary:  Chick to far left of pic is Robin Hood,  chick to the very far right (can barely see that one) has got to be peep-a-boo.  enjoy!   lol

Omg…their eyes are open, they look healthy, and this photo has got to be one of the very best I have ever seen.  Excellent work,  John!  I  am SO looking forward to the fuzzy-chicks photos!  This is almost as good as being there!

Now Mary, how did you decide “Who was Who” in this photo?

Short and sweet:

Mary:  Update: 10:55am May 19th, took a head count and there are 4 babies. picture to follow later.     11:52 AM

Yay!  Now we need to name them.

Storms out their way today and tonight, so maybe pictures tomorrow.  We have 4…..Way To Go, Robin Momma!

It’s been very quiet for a couple of days.  No news from Mary about the babies, but I can be patient when circumstances call for it.  Mary and John are trying to respect Robin Momma’s privacy.  They do, however, watch from a distance…waiting for that magic moment when a spectacular photo is their’s for the taking.  Then, a message from Mary:

Mary:  hey,
just got in  from a fun day running around .  i took a peek at our babies while mom/dad were off someplace(making more babies?) lol and kids were sound asleep, beaks wide open waiting for food. they are soooooooooooo much fun to watch.  hope to get a good pic in next few days.

Great message….all seems to be well with the Robin Clan.

Then, a little while later this message from Mary:

Mary:  here is a cutie!   love this one.  stay tuned! John said he will probably give it a few days now before taking anymore pics.

Ready, and Waiting photo by John

Mary, my Sweet Cousin, this is too wonderful for words!  Does John have any idea how Good he is at capturing the perfect picture?  Probably not.  I just hope he keeps this up….especially when they begin to feather-out and hop around the edge of the nest.  What fun this all is!

So, will the baby in the picture be the biggest, strongest, or just the Loudest?   And, will Mary name this one, and it’s brothers and sisters…..?

As Mary said:  Stay Tuned….I will so let you know!  lol

And, just when you felt it was safe to go make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich….

Mary:   John  got a pic of one parent feeding chicks so stay tuned for further pics sometime.  11am

Mary:  Here is the first of a few new pics.  have a blast.  xoxoxoo    John does a good job.  you can see   one  baby is grabbing the food. lol lol  cant wait to see them on the blog.  love it!

Hey! Hey! Where's the food already? photo by John

Such a wonderful parent! photo by John

"Ooooooooooooooo, Hi, Dad....." photo by John

Seems John has been very busy…..

So.o.o, lunch is over and time for a very short break? photo by John

This is either a well-earned ‘break’, or someone is giving everyone ‘the Look.”  You are on your own, Momma….we are here to take photos, write about it,  and generally cheer your on, Only!

I know this whole ‘show’ is going to go ‘faster than the blink of an eye’, now….so I can almost feel more photos coming….

And, for the readers who Thought they would have to wait…..SURPRISE!

And, there are more on the way….

It is raining, and I was just thinking  “I could use something uplifting….”, so I opened my e-mail, and voila:

Mary:  here ya go.  yeah. cant tell if 4th egg has hatched.  may have or chicks are laying on it.  will probably wait now for anymore pics until their little heads are popped up and yelling to be fed!  lol lol.
just have had some nice rains overnite, nothing bad.

Tiny, and already getting fuzzy. Photo: by John

Omg, how ‘brand new’ can you get?!  Mary, you did it again.  Nice photo, and beautiful little ones.  Thank John for the wonderful photography, and thank you so much for a job very well done!  I’ll just bet you that Mom is chuckling as we go back and forth, all excited and smiling and happy!  Let me know about the 4th egg also, please!  Have fun, and keep sending pictures.

Now, one last egg to go……

Message from Mary:  our babies are in that nest wiggling around now. still one egg in nest and havent come across any empty shells. john wants to wait till they are a little bigger and then get a pic. told him he has just a 2 week window. lol

I can SO picture what Mary is seeing!  Unfortunately, they are facing another round of terrible weather tonight.  I only hope the tornadoes miss them again, as they did a couple of days ago.

Mary:  hope to catch ya later. most weather right now is in western okla heading into kansas.     6:28 PM

Mary:  momma robin sure seems busy. flying back and forth. earlier there was still one more unhatched egg    9:06 PM

Mary:  the other chicks look soooooooooooo cute with that little fluff of feathers.  They were wiggling around some this afternoon. 10:26 PM
Me:     Do the babies have some feathers already?    10:29 PM
Mary:    just what you would call fluffy stuff                10:29 PM

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My Mom passed a couple of years ago.  In her final years she had become very close to Mary….a surrogate mother if you will. I know Mary misses her as much as I do.  When I first got Mary to share the experience of watching the robins, taking pictures, and sending messages to update their progress,  she very quietly shared something with me.  She told me that she  can ‘feel’ my Mom’s presence around her when she is sitting on her porch, and watching the Robin Family work. What a comforting thought.

Maybe Mom had something to do with the protection they received from the  previous deadly storms…?  I would like to think so.  And I would also like to think that she is smiling as she watches the ‘unfolding events’ with Mary…enjoying it every bit as much as we are.  Three ‘fuzzy chicks’, and one last egg….check back with us tomorrow!

After the last few blog posts I really need to write something uplifting, again.  So, I got online with Mary.

Me:  So, what is the latest ‘scoop’…any changes?  Any activity?  Any new pictures?

Mary:  Not yet, but stayed tuned for continuous coverage!

And she sits..... photo by John

Now I know it has only been a few days since Robin Momma planted herself on the nest full time.  She has, after all, 4 eggs to keep warm.  But it still feels as if she glued her butt to the thing and refuses to even try to move!  How is Mary going to know when the eggs hatch if Momma is always there?  I am just kidding….I am very happy that Momma is so dedicated.  Maybe tomorrow?

Message from Mary the very next day:  omg we have 2 babies!!!!! momma got off nest long enough for me to take a peek. stayed tuned!

Yay!  Progress.  And then, the following day….

Me (being very impatient):  Now how many have hatched, and Can You Get Pics without ruffling any feathers? (sorry about that)

Mary:  see only one egg left in nest.  can’t tell how many chicks cause they all curled up in a feathery ball. lol stay tuned for further updates

It is so nice having a “reporter in the field!”  I am thinking the parents will be very close by for a little while, and make it impossible to get any pics just yet.  Maybe John’s telescopic lens and steady hands can help?  I did ask that Mary look for egg shells nearby….

Next message from Mary:  havent found any empty shells yet. looked earlier. going to wait a day or so on pics.  wouldn’t be able to tell chicks from nesting materials. lol lol    7:46 PM

Ok, so here is what we have so far as of this morning:  3 babies, definitely.  Perhaps 4th one really soon.  Next, the job is all Mary’s (with a little help from her hubby)……and Aunt Allie can just sit and wait (sorta like Robin Momma!) for the updates and pictures!   What a life!

Thank you, Mary!  I really needed this right now….a little hope and fun in a rather busy world.

“Gee…my bad.”

I am learning an awful lot lately about oil spills….even though I really did not wish for this opportunity.  I had no idea how badly this particular group that caused the spill in the Gulf had disregarded all the warnings.  Their practices have been high risk for a long time.  The emerging facts are clearly pointing fingers at them for not only the loss of human life, but the coming loss of all the birds and animals living and breeding along the coast.

With a little research, I found a very good map to help me better understand the full scope of the threat we are facing, and it is Huge:

Essential breeding areas, now threatened

As I watched this nightmare unfold, I understood the more obvious of the upcoming events…the ones that would take our birds, marine mammals, and our fish as they tried to use the water.  What I had not even considered, until I went ‘hunting’ for information, is that the coast line has so many areas essential for breeding. With those being made unusable by the oil from the spill, we would end up not only loosing a lot of the mature critters in a way too heartbreaking to imagine, but we would also have to face the  possibility of not having any new ones to replace them!

BP says that they will pay the millions of dollars in fines, and will ‘clean up the mess…no problem.’  I am sure it Is no problem to them, since they probably saved bundles on the shortcuts that ultimately caused this disaster.  So their cavalier “Gee, my bad.” doesn’t do a darned thing for me, or for the innocent wildlife victims of their behavior.

I just checked with Robin Momma’s Guardian Angel (aka: Mary).  Seems Mom is roosting quietly, and leaving the nest  less often.  So apparently,  4 eggs it is!

Mary and I were discussing the coming babies, and guessing how many were boys, and how many were girls.   Then Mary came up with an idea:  “We had better get busy finding names for these chicks!”

Oh, no….  If you give critters names they become ‘family members’, and all kinds of heartaches follow!  Or, you find you cannot ‘part with them’ after they’re grown and want to ‘leave home.’ Not a good thing, Martha!

Story time (an illustration of what happens when you ‘name’ critters):

My grandson and I lived in an old farmhouse for 6 years (the house with the bees in “The Buzzzz” post).  And, we have 2 cats.  Those two loved that house, and spent hours hunting for the occasional mouse or mole that found it’s way into the basement….or anything else they could chase.  When I moved us to an apartment, my cats quickly became bored.  Afraid they may become depressed from the lack of “activity”  (hunting), I came up with a simply “wonderful idea.”…ya..

I took my grandson to the local pet store and purchased 2 feeder mice for the cats to chase. By the time we got them home, my grandson had Named Them!  AND, he made it very clear to the cats that “the mice were HIS mice!”  So, after buying a lovely cage, great food, and toys for “Chicken Poo” and “Rustle” (NOT Russel….Rustle, for the  sound he made ALL NIGHT rearranging his cage and the shredded paper!!!), my grandson finally gave them to a friend.  The two ‘feeder mice’ had become pets….forever.

And so, Dear Heart, if you Do name these robin children are you prepared to  sit and wait to catch whichever chick falls from the nest first?  Or, run with them when they are first learning to fly, just in case they get hurt?  And without a ‘bird egg ultra-sound’, how many are ‘boys’, and how many are ‘girls.’  And, when they leave home, then what?

Oh, what the heck!  I am going to start a list of names!  And, I am going to tell Mary to do the same!  Might as well have as much fun with this as humanly possible, right?