Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rockin' robin

Spring sometimes brings a bit of natural drama to this part of North Buffalo. It takes place right at our garage.

Our garage has a small lamp between the two doors, and the lamp is covered by a small part of the roof. Therefore, the area on top of the lamp is somewhat protected from the elements, not to mention that the light bulb keeps the area warm overnight.

The robins who are reading this (including robin brown, lower case please, my college pal) no doubt have already figured out where this is going: It's the perfect spot for a bird's nest.

Sure enough, about a week ago, we parked the car at night and there was no sign of a nest. The next morning, a fully constructed bird's nest was in place. As a proud union member, I won't make any jokes about the construction time, but it was rather stunning to see how fast it was built.

A nest had been built there once before this spring, but then a few days later we found the remains on the ground after a 50 mph windstorm blew it off the lamp. Apparently a good spot is still a good spot.

We had robins there a few years ago. The mother stood guard on the eggs in the nest, flying off whenever we pulled in the driveway and cranked the garage door up. Then when we went inside, mom returned to the nest for more sitting duty.

Eventually, we heard chirping coming out of the nest. After waiting for a few days, I grabbed a step-stool and took a look inside. Sure enough, there were three baby birds, with eyes closed and mouths open as they waited for the delivery of their next meal. This is a pretty good gig if you can get it.

We wondered when the mother would suffer from the empty-nest syndrome. Then one day, I went out to the garage to go shopping and opened the door. The noises sparked the birdies into action, as they flew out of the nest for a few feet and landed on the ground. Two of them bounced around a bit, testing their wings, while a third walked straight into the garage and got confused in a hurry. I directed the stray bird out the door and into the sunlight. Eventually they headed for the sky and freedom.

Recapping, we provided a shelter for the birds and watched them grow until it was time to leave. Do you think they ever write or call? Not a chance. Ungrateful little critters.

We'll keep watching this group to see how it does. Maybe this bunch will be more appreciative.

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