August 21, 2020
A few years ago, a robin family made a home in the rafters of my porch. I was glad to share my space but, having moved in on me, they weren’t nearly so gracious in return. They actually expected me to vacate the premises until they were through with their laying and hatching and fledging season. Any movement I made in the vicinity of the porch was greeted with much flapping and screeching and other efforts to demonstrate their displeasure.
But when mama bird was away getting food, I had more freedom and enjoyed seeing little heads and beaks peeking over the side of the nest. One day, a chick fell out and landed with a thump on the porch. I though surely it would be hurt but, after assessing its situation for a while, it got up, wobbled around a little and then fell off the side. When I went to look, there it was, a few feet below, surrounded by encouraging and comforting grown-up birds who helped it on its way.
The robins came for two years and then moved to a different neighborhood. In an effort to welcome more bird friends, I bought a house for them, but it didn’t attract any buyers. Then, at the beginning of the pandemic, I moved on to bird seed with visions of cardinals and bluejays and other colorful species gracing my porch, offering companionship without the strictures of social distancing. I had barely put out the seed when birds started arriving: starlings—screechy, aggressive, possessive starlings with very poor bathroom habits. Any other visitors were rudely driven away, and my porch was a mess!Read More