I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Monday, July 5, 2010

My Friend's visit and the Saga of the Baby Birds

I waved goodbye to my friend "C" this morning as she drove down the road. She left earlier because the day is going to be very hot and the valley even hotter. She wanted to drive home, pick up her cat, Max, and settle into her home by the lake before the heat of the afternoon finds it's footing.Summer has arrived.
She drove up on Saturday from Sacramento. We had such a nice visit. Mostly stayed around the farm, but we did go out to dinner Saturday night at Teresa's, our local Italian restaurant. Was it good!!
"C" had a knee replacement about 5 mos. ago and is doing really well. As hard as it was to go through, it will be worth it in the long run. She did all the exercises and physical therapy that she was suppose to and it has paid off. She is walking without pain and has, for all purposes, a new knee.

While "C" was here I had a meltdown over these baby birds. It appeared that they had been abandoned by the parents. As I told you in another post, these House Finches had built a nest in a container right next to the front door and that door, being our only access to the front yard, was causing the little family of Linnets a lot of stress. Well Friday afternoon the babies were looking dehydrated and very sad.  Two of them looked dead. The parents were no where to be seen. The Internet said that I should watch the nest and the parents should come every 30 mins or so. There were a "no show" that afternoon and on Saturday morning they were no where to be seen. The babies were looking really bad. So when "C" got here I was beside myself with worry and not sure what to do. She and I decided to move the whole container with the fake greenery, the nest and the birds in it over to the other end of the porch.

You can see the tin with the babies and nest hanging on the last porch post in the photo above. Carl was so curious about the birds and even though they were not making any noise, he kept watching them.
I made some white bread soaked in warm milk and using some tweezers, got the babies to eat some of the wet bread. Three of them started opening their mouths and taking the food. The other two were underneath and didn't seem to respond at all. We moved the Hummingbird feeder away from the babies and decided that we would watch out of the living room window for a while and see what might happen. It was almost 24 hours since I had seen the parents.
Within 20 minutes or so, guess who arrived? Yep! Mom and Dad. First Dad arrived and flew over to the front door. He was having a fit and I was beginning to think that I had made a big mistake. But, Mom flew right to the nest and started feeding the babies. I was so relieved that I almost cried.  I know that they had not been there all morning or the afternoon before and those babies were dying for some food. I don't know where the parents went or why. I only know that I was sure they were gone forever. Maybe they were tired of the commotion at the door. Maybe they were afraid of the other nest of sparrows in the eaves near them. Maybe the Hummers where bothering them. We have a little Hummer we call the "crazy one" who chased the other Hummers away from the feeder and zooms around the yard like a dive bomber. He kept flying around the nest and acting like he was going to attack the babies. I was ready to get the fly swatter.
I will never know what the problem was, but those two Finches didn't show up for about 24 hours and those babies almost died. Thanks to my friend's encouragement and help with moving the nest, the babies are doing well.
I will still put a chair and pad underneath the nest just in case one of them falls out. They are so small but they are packed in there like sardines. I could just see one of them trying to spread it's wings and flipping itself right out of the nest. I don't know why I'm being so paranoid about all of this. Nature has it's moments that are hard to watch and understand. I live with this. I shouldn't be so sensitive but these babies are so needy..., and sweet.
Look at these little guys. They are getting cuter and bigger by the minute. They look at me like they know that we helped them. I love to think they do anyway. All five are doing well. Maybe Mom and Dad took a short vacation for the day on Friday but that's not going to cut it around here. They need to finish what they started. They can have their fun after the kids are grown and gone, like the rest of us.

The other big news is that my wonderful, computer literate friend "C" sat down and showed me how to transfer more that three photos  to my blog on one post. I have never known how to do this. That's why you never saw more than 3 photos on any one blog post before today. That's why you saw so many collage photos. Picassa would not let me post more that 3 photos from their site. Well, you live and learn. I made the forth photo extra large just to celebrate. Now I can have some fun...
Thanks "C". You've brought me one step closer to knowing what I'm doing here. You're a sweetie. Come up again soon.


  1. Well! Imagine those parents off on a bender while the young starve at home! Maybe they're young rock n' rollers who don't know how to settle down...but seriously, I think you did the right thing. Sometimes birds get paranoid about the location of there nest and would rather survive than get caught by some monster. I had kama kazi hummers here too and put out an extra feeder quite a distance away. Now the two groups are content. By the way, those babies are off the cute scale...how could you not resist trying to save them...bravo!

  2. I"m relieved that your moving the nest didn't back fire on you. As long as you don't touch them it should be ok. They must have had a hard time finding food. I am amazed at how many baby birds do die. We lose a lot every year. one year we had a dove make a nest in an empty plastic ice cream container outside on our freezer. Jim had to duct tape it to the wall so it wouldn't blow away in the wind. one time it did blow off the freezer and both babies had flown out. My dog Rasmus went right to each one and pointed to them for my Hunny to find. He put them back in the bucket and they survived. What kills me is after all of that and then a cat gets them. We rescue as many as we can if we see the cat playing with them and they aren't injured yet.

    Course right now the birds are stealing most of my tomatoes.

    Any idea what these little fellas are?

  3. It's a hard call deciding whether to interfere with nature or not, isn't it? I try not to but sometimes the need is too great and I just have to. Maybe this was Mr & Mrs Bird's way of toughening the littlies up for the life ahead? Guess we will never know. So glad they all survived!
    Please don't stop your collages. I love them and simply must learn how to do them.

  4. Glad you moved the nest. That the parents came back and that the baby birds are ok. So glad to hear that your friend"C" is doing well. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  5. Oh my gosh! We been there this summer worrying about a birdhouse full of birdlets that the parent birds deserted. Our story didn't have a happy ending and it tore me up for days. Still makes me sad. I have fallen in love with this story and how you saved these little ones. I will be reading here now! Sweet blog :) Oh! I came here by way of Eve's blog Sunny Side Up.

  6. Well Hello! I've been blog hopping about a bit today and following people who either linked to Sally's Blue Monday or whocommented on someone's post. One way or another I ended up here. I enjoyed this post so much. It is funny isn't, how a silly little thing will get us all worked up when in the normal course of things we would simply let nature do her thing. I am glad your baby birds are doing better! Whew!
    I am rather fascinated by the photo of Murphy, Brownie, Freckles and Bart. Somehow they look friendly and the tree to left and the color of the sky make it look like a French painting...
    Cheers- CailinMarie http://cailinyates.blogspot.com

  7. I am so happy to meet people like you who care about baby birds this much. I was nearly in tears reading your post and I'm so relieved it has a happy ending! "Nature has its moments that are hard to watch..." So true. I re-learn this lesson every day but it never gets easier.

  8. what a great story with a good and happy ending. I would be worried sick also. glad you looked out for them and you also learned something new about the computer. yeah!!

  9. What a saga with the baby birds! I'm glad those maizy bird parents came back and didn't leave you to sit on their nest like Horton the elephant :->
    xo, suzy


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