Thursday, June 15, 2006

The birds

On the day I took ownership of my new house I stopped over for an inspection tour - not my first inspection, of course, but my first as the owner. I noticed some loose grass clippings over the doorway on "my" side of the house, in the recess of the transom window. I swept them out with my hand, wondering how the hell they got there. I turned to the corresponding point on the "storage" side of the house and discovered that it also had grass clippings - neatly arranged into a bird's nest. I touched it without thinking and realized it was solidly mounted. This was not a leftover from last year. This was a current nest.

Over the next week I became acquainted with the owner. She was a robin who took a dim view of this new human who was making himself at home in close proximity to her home. When I would arrive at the house with a load of stuff she would cheep at me in annoyance. Once she even paced the front porch at the top of the steps when I pulled up, keeping a careful eye on my car the whole while. (I've never seen a bird do this before. She was hopping back and forth across the porch exactly like a guard on patrol.)

About a week ago her eggs hatched. She has three baby robins in the nest now, and they're getting big.

We've come to a sort of accommodation. I don't disturb her nest, and she doesn't peck out my eyes. I am as gentle as possible when opening and closing the front doors, and I have put off any plans to replace the storm doors until the babies have left the nest.

She isn't the best of neighbors. Apparently the kids grew tired of a diet of worms, so she's been feeding them cherries and littering the porch with the pits. She spotted me watching her from inside the house through the transom window yesterday and flew off in a huff. This evening I'll be spending some time on the porch with a broom sweeping off the cherry pits and the loose bits of grass that never made in into the nest. I hope she doesn't mind too much.

UPDATE: As of 8:30 PM the evening of the day I wrote this, the birds are gone. I went out on the porch to sweep away the cherry pits and the nest was empty. Could the birds have been out getting flying lessons? Or have they left the nest for good, never to return?


betz said...

Harold, I am curious, have they returned?

D.B. Echo said...

Nope. Looks like they've flown the coop. I'll leave the nest up there until I absolutely have to take it down.