Yesterday, I was in Gaby's room, rummaging through her toys, trying to talk her into thinning the herd that is her stuffed animal collection, when the doorbell rang. I walked into the front room, asked who was at the door and then opened it wide to greet my next door neighbor. Lizzy stood on my front porch, without her normal cheerful smile, and also without her chocolate labrador retriever puppy, Daisy, that she usually brings over with her once in a while so that Gaby can say hello. At first I thought maybe something had happened to the exuberant Daisy, but before the lump in my throat had time to form, Lizzy let me know that her gardener had found two dead robins in her yard that morning. Lizzy knows we've got a robin's nest with a new clutch of eggs, and thought perhaps they might be our robins. The gardener told her that it looked like a cat got to the birds.
Truth be told, I had been wondering, once we hit days 16 and 17 if something was amiss?
I didn't have the heart to check the nest at all yesterday, and I finally did just before sitting down to to write this tonight, and the eggs have not moved at all. Nothing has changed. I was hoping that perhaps it might have been two other robins that were found, and not our robins, but in all probability, those were in fact mama and papa robin.
I'm not sure what we do now, with the likelihood of the nest now being abandoned. I feel like we shouldn't touch the eggs and perhaps nature (meaning a predator - there's been a huge raven lurking about, trying to get a peek into the nest from time to time. He perches atop the canopy just above the back door, where the nest sits on top of the porch light, and hops towards the edge, ever so cautiously. As he'd get close to the edge and about to peek under the canopy, mama or papa would appear from out of nowhere and raise hell. Mr. Raven would disappear into the sky. When I'd come home from an outing, I'd notice the raven sitting there, creepy fellow that he is.) will take it's course? But then what if nothing intercedes and takes the eggs? Do we just let them rot? If I'm being honest, I'm a tad concerned about the smell, if we just leave everything alone; do nothing.
I'm not entirely sure what one does in situations like this.
Gaby heard the entire conversation when Lizzy came over. Amazingly she wasn't as upset as I thought she'd be. She was a bit sad but then said, "Well at least we know it wasn't one of our cats that got them, as they aren't allowed outside." Of course, she expects that we can play outside in our back garden more often, now that we know we won't be disturbing the nesting mama and papa robin.
I wish I could just sit here and say, "Oh well, that's just nature. It happens." But if you've read any of my past posts about animals, you know I'm not one to just sit here and say, "Oh well, it's just a cat/dog/bird after all." It might just be a bird, or two birds, but it was still part of life, and we were enjoying being able to sort of have a front row seat to the whole nesting process again. Plus, from my reading, I've learned that the fledgling robin survival rate is only 25%. I guess it's even lower if mama and papa aren't around to make sure the babies make it out of the eggs, alive. So yeah, I'm a tad melancholy over the loss of not only mama and papa but the three babies.
While we're sad that this brood had a much different outcome than we'd all hoped, we're also very fortunate that we've been able to witness as much of the nesting process as we have. I hope the fledglings from the last brood are out there somewhere, beating the odds, soaring high above the trees into the great big blue beyond.