Sunday, June 15, 2008

Adopted Baby in the Backyard

On Thursday afternoon I found a dead Robin chick on my back lawn. I didn’t think much of it. Every year several American robins, Carolina wrens, sparrows and European starlings breed in my backyard. And from time to time I see dead birds.

On Friday afternoon I found another dead robin chick nearly in the same place as Thursday and another chick hopping around near some shrubs, very fortunate that the cat has not yet caught it. Obviously something happened for them to be kicked out of their nest or they may have left it voluntary. And why two dead birds? There was a nest high up in the Aristocrat pear tree near the porch, but it was too high for me to put the chick back. Monica fed it some water and I remembered there was an abandoned nest at the back of the yard in an arbor. I promptly fetched it and put the new nest into a glass water bowl, which is usually frequented by the finches and put the robin chick in the nest. Then we sat back and waited to see if the mother was nearby and whether she would accept the new nest.

So far the chick has stayed put. It survived a thunderstorm and a fierce downpour on Friday evening, swinging in the wind. On Saturday morning I emptied the bowl from the previous evening’s rainwater. Luckily the mother has responded to the new surroundings and has been feeding the chick regularly. We now go and check a couple of times a day to see if it has not jumped the coop and became catfood. Its still too small to fly, but I am sure it will be ready to leave the nest and fend for itself within a week or so. They grow quickly.

The Robin chick seems quite content in its new nest inside a water bowl.

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