Two of the eggs hatched, revealing a couple of yellow-beaked, feathered balls that turned into hungry baby robins. Mommy and Daddy took turns feeding them and chasing nosy Blue Jays away from the nest.
One of the babies appeared stronger than the other one, always holding its head up higher to get the first worm, taking up more space in the nest and generally being pushier. If any of you have older siblings, you know the type. I guess it’s the same with robins.
Yesterday I was sitting on my back deck when the first baby — the pushy one — took a leap from the nest. He looked like a kamikaze, flapping frantically to break his free fall, and landed on the flagstone near the barbeque — miraculously unhurt. I grabbed my startled dog by the collar and shoved him inside. Baby robin hopped under the nearly cedar bushes, where his mother — or father — awaited. I’m guessing his lessons in how to catch worms was about to begin.
I ran upstairs to check the nest. The second baby robin was still there, all by himself, looking uncertain about the whole business. But eventually he must have jumped out too, because later that day the nest was empty, except for the last egg that never hatched <sigh>.
It’s still empty this morning, and I’m kinda sad. I can’t believe how quickly those feathered balls turned into real birds. What compelled them to take that leap from their warm, snug nest? Did Daddy robin lecture them that he had too many mouths to feed, and it was time to make their own way in the big, bad world? Was Mommy robin on board, or was she sad about allowing her two defenseless babies to fend for themselves?
My nest isn’t empty yet, and half of me is dreading that day. The other half has plans for my daughter’s empty bedroom. Either way, maybe we humans could learn a thing or two from robins. Ready or not, let your kids fly. They’ll figure it out.