Bird Tails From the Hood #2

Originally, Mr. was widowed.  I had seen the female and male sparrows very early in the spring, but after one of two brutal snow storms, the female disappeared. He remained at the nest, lamenting and frustrated, crying out for days and then weeks, trying to attract a new lady friend.  Finally, the courting began and I started to see the new little Mrs. coming and going.

Well, it now appears as though she is managing the nest on her own.  This, I think, leaves her vulnerable as she races in the heat, back and forth from the feeder, tending her little ones who now make their presence known redundantly through the day and into the evening.  Mother sometimes appears to be panting at the nest opening.  I haven’t seen Mr. around for over a week.

But, I HAVE seen the aunties…a whole string of females on my eves trough, that every time Mrs. leaves the nest untended, take turns flying in to look at the youngsters.  I’m wondering if this, in nature, is a malicious thing or if they are curious on-lookers.  I just feel very sad for how busy Mrs. is and wonder how she will manage to see her way through this time.

Just this morning, my daughter and I had our first siting of one of the young birds.  I would love to place a trampoline under the vent location because in the past, we’ve always lost one or two to their fall onto the hard ground below.

Kath's Canon July 2 2015 Rumble Hood Birds 103 Kath's Canon July 2 2015 Rumble Hood Birds 100 Kath's Canon July 2 2015 Rumble Hood Birds 095 Kath's Canon July 2 2015 Rumble Hood Birds 081

Bird Tails From the Hood

Feral cats roam free throughout the seasons on our circle.  A few of them congregate on the ‘cat lady’s’ step because I think she gets them through the winter.  One of the cats belongs to her, but he is definitely an outdoor cat.  The other three come and go, but always sit, when she’s gone, on her smoking chair. The one that has managed through the most years is a tortoise shell long hair who often stalks my bird feeder and routinely catches and tortures mice.  I watch, stunned, from the window.  Yesterday, this very cat sat on the sidewalk directly across from my house…crouched and ready to bolt.  Max, my dog, barked wildly from the living room window.  I stepped outside to see what the commotion was all about.  Looking carefully, I saw puffs of feather circling the cat’s mouth.  It looked funny until I saw the fledgling robin on the yard below me.

Both mother and father were posturing anxiously in near proximity to the evidently scruffed up youngster.  I shooed the cat away as it bolted and hid beneath one of the cars parked along the street.  Bit by bit, I coaxed the young dude east along the street and up onto neighbour’s steps where he/she might be able to get some height on the next flight attempt.  Prompted by its parents, it continued bob bob bobbing along, however exposed to the crows, the cats, the magpies and the great big world.

As I looked more closely at the young robin, I saw that it had been attacked on its chest and definitely on its tail feathers.  I don’t know that it will at any point be able to fly, given this disastrous result.  Once again, I contemplate the tough world of nature.  I think about the challenges of adults, in this case, the hatching and feeding and raising up of young birds in precarious nests and then, teaching them to fly.  In nature, there is so much fighting against birds, animals and plants.  Sometimes I am amazed that species continue to populate this earth, where now, there are so many forces operating against them.  Natural predators are one thing, but the forces that human beings exert upon species and the devastating development of natural environments is truly, staggering.

I managed, yesterday morning, to delay the violent ending of a young robin.  The lesson, however, is that ‘out there’, it is the strong that survive.  I guess it’s the same for us.

©Kathleen Moors  Mama bob bobbing, frantically.  Her antics, steering the cat's attention away from her progeny.

©Kathleen Moors Mama bob bobbing, frantically. Her antics, steering the cat’s attention away from her progeny.

©Kathleen Moors Dad, looking as puffed up and red-chested as possible, distracting predators, the cat and me, from his progeny.

©Kathleen Moors Dad, looking as puffed up and red-chested as possible, distracting predators, the cat and me, from his progeny.

©Kathleen Moors

©Kathleen Moors Youngster, his own feather caught within his beak, survivor of the first attack.