The baby robins are out of the nests and hopping around behind their mothers. Life is not a Disney movie though. This is the most dangerous time for the young birds, as they have no experience or sense of what might harm them. Their flight feathers are not fully developed so they can’t escape predators as quickly as they might need to.
They don’t realize how vulnerable they are when they relax in the birdbath.
Yesterday the Captain and I put some netting over the strawberries because the first berries were turning red. I know from one bad experience many years ago, that birds sometimes get tangled in the netting and can die of exhaustion trying to escape, so I made a point of checking the netting every few hours.
First thing this morning, a mother robin was sitting on a garden fence post and I checked to see if any birds were eating my strawberries. Under the netting was a young robin. It must have walked in at the far end where my garlic is growing so high that I didn’t think I needed to fasten the net down. You see that I now have another board lying crosswise halfway down the raised bed, to hold the net to the ground. But this morning I had to rescue the young bird. He was so light and delicate when I held him in my hand. I could feel his warmth. I’m sure he was happy to fly away unharmed.
Now the story takes a sad turn. Well, it depends on whose point of view you take. This falcon, a merlin, moved into our area three years ago and has been nesting here ever since. He (or she) fed his/her family tonight and I could have cried when the merlin flew across our backyard clutching a young robin who was shrieking pitifully. I wondered if it was the one I had saved only that morning. The merlin family is happy; the robin family is not.
Where is Walt Disney when you need him?
Nature is cruel.