I know! You thought that because Mrs. and her fledglings seemed to be goners, that I would stop watching their nest, right? Wrong! Mr. sat and howled redundantly for two days and then disappeared for a day.
He looked like this.
I will never know if the nestlings fledged…any of them, successfully. I have no idea if Mrs. was just off with them, doing flight lessons. He appeared to be widowed by all of his behaviours, but what do I know? Of course I then went to a variety of sites to read about the widows of the nest. Interesting stuff. I learned that even while building a nest and establishing a family unit, Mr. goes off routinely and messes around. It isn’t unusual for the male sparrows to go off and find a mistress when they have been widowed and visa versa for the female sparrows. I’m guessing with the huge magpie and grackle populations and with a lot of outdoor cats, the incidents of loss are also huge
I’ve looked at the images and I can’t really tell if Mrs. is Mrs. or if it is in fact, a new partner at the nest, but today…after days of beating around the grief bush, there is another.
This is the last photo I have of Mrs. the day before Mr. was spotted alone.
I’m just happy that Mr. is wearing a smile again.
In following them to the feeder, I DID see a juvenile in high branches and a female feed it and then encourage it higher, into the branches above the house. I’m wondering, of course, if the female and maybe one, two or three successful fledges weren’t just held up in high branches. One will never know…but certainly, it makes for a good story! lol