Well i was watching the nest as best i could. I would check every other day or so to see if the eggs had hatched but it was a very attentive bird that never strayed far enough from the nest that she couldnt see it while she was hunting for food and i didn’t want to disturb her or put her off the nest because i was sniffing around too much. I knew the eggs needed to be incubated and the best way to ensure that was to let her alone to do her thing. So, i missed the actual hatching, but it was worth it that she feel comfortable and have a degree of privacy. One day i lifted the cardboard pieces and there they were: four little writhing gray and pink things. She had obviously fed them well as in just a few days these things went from eggs to huge baby birds. I did note, as is normal, one of the little baby birds was smaller, pinker, and more lethargic than the rest. Typically this baby bird, the runt, would stay in the nest long after the others had flown and the parents would feed it all the food it didnt get while it was in competition with its bolder stronger siblings.
I named the four birds doe, ray, mi, and fah. Fah is the pinkish one with less feathers than its siblings. When i tweet all the little birds except fah open their mouths in expectation of food. Either this little one has given up or it just lacks the instinct its siblings were born with. At this stage in the game i was unsure if Fah would survive but the mama bird raised them all up, including Fah, so she must have gotten it to open its mouth at least some of the time.
Doe, Ray, and Mi were feisty little birds; always hungry.
It is amazing how quickly they go from tiny pink translucent things with unopened eyes to fully feathered creatures staring at you from the nest.
Notice all my chicken feathers she confiscated to line her nest; it makes me chuckle. They are resourceful little creatures. They use what they find.
Someone asked me what kind of bird they are. I think they may be house wrens. Someone correct me if i’m wrong.
The day after this photograph i noticed the mother sitting in a tree in the edge of the dog run about ten feet from her nest if not 8. She called ceaselessly to her babies and i knew what was happening. She was bringing them no food. She was creating a necessity. They would have to stand up, learn to fly, and venture outside of the nest if they wanted something to eat. The voice of their mom served as extra motivation. She was calling to them, “come on now. Lets go. Lets go.” She called them for two whole days and i resisted every desire to go out and peek in on what was happening, because this was an important moment in their learning, and i couldn’t let my desire to document get in the way of their natural method of things. Once all the chirping had quieted down i expected to go in and find the nest empty. I was surprised to see a little face looking back at me, eagerly. At first i thought it was the mom, but quickly i realized that was not who i was looking at. The mama bird was very skittish and wary of me. This bird looked happy to see me. It was Fah. The little runt had made it all the way to adulthood, fully feathered even if a bit small. I thought at first that he was just hanging out in the nest while his mama brought him extra food but as i watched throughout the day…i was the only visitor to the nest, unless she came by in the moments i went in to use the bathroom.
Poor Fah was having a rough go of it. It seemed Fah’s mom was done with her mothering and he would now either teach himself to fly or perish. I couldn’t teach a bird to fly. I didn’t know how. So there was little i could do for Fah in that regard. It was best if wild things remained wild. I made a decision that i would wait to see if Fah’s mom came back for him, if Fah took the leap and learned to fly himself, or if Fah’s siblings came back to get him, which sometimes happens. Only if all three of these options failed to happen i would step in and offer Fah a domestic life in the house. But, as i said before, wild is better. A remodeled shed is no place for a bird to stay. I have hope for Fah that he can learn to fly if he only gives it a shot.
He did it. Fah flew. 🙂