Saturday, July 11, 2009

Good Mother

Frantic new bird cries in the front yard pear tree caught my attention as I arrived home from a walking errand, indicating feeding time on the nest front. Until now I had been unaware of a nest in the pear tree. As I approached, one large adult robin flew out of the tree and another thinner one arrived to perch on a nearby interior limb with a floppy worm dangling from its beak. The babies went silent when the first adult flew away. The second just-arrived adult waited to see if I posed a danger. For all my peering, I could not find the nest, so I stood still to wait for her to show me the way(a line from The Secret Garden). I assume by her gaunt appearance she was the mama.

Mama Robin was wary of me and not about to divulge the location of her offspring. We eyed each other like two statues connected by a lazer beam. Occasionaly she uttered a muffled chirp, with worm still dangling, and finally few away. I sat low on the sidewalk to take my chances that the father would return soon with a pizza delivery. Within seconds he did and perched first on a distant limb before following an indirect path to the nest. I was surprised to discover it was low in an endbranch of the pear tree almost immediately over my head. No wonder the mother would not go to the nest---with me so near. The father didn't appear to notice me. Maybe it's a guy thing.

The squawking began again in earnest when he arrived at the edge of the nest. I could see the gape-mouthed sparsely feathered babies bobbing their heads over the side of the next in competition for the worm. dkm

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