Monday, May 22, 2017

A Bird In Hand (Or Nest)

To find the universal elements enough;
to find the air and the water exhilarating;
to be refreshed by a morning walk 
or an evening saunter;
to be thrilled by the stars at night;
to be elated over a bird's nest
or a wildflower in spring ...
these are some of the rewards of the simple life.
                                                             --John Burroughs

I was beginning to think that the old saying, "A watched pot never boils," also applied to watching a bird's nest.

When Randy first discovered the nest in April, there were only two eggs in the nest atop the 4-wheeler ramps.
Then, a few days later, we found four eggs.
Not long afterwards, Randy discovered some delicate blue egg shells at the base of the ramps, and only three eggs were left in the nest. We don't know why one of the eggs toppled to the ground.
We patiently checked the nest every few days, hoping that they would hatch. And they did!
Two of the eggs are now baby birds.
Taken May 8
It's been amazing how quickly they've changed from scrawny, skeletal looking creatures to our feathered friends. We've not sure whether the third egg will hatch, but we doubt it will at this point. (You can see it under the feathers in the photo below.)
Taken May 15 - 1 week later
Initially, we didn't know what bird had laid the eggs. We never saw a mama sitting on the nest.
But now that the babies are hatched, a couple of robins aren't thrilled when I've peered into the nest or moved it to the nearby wheelbarrow for photos. They don't seem to understand that I'm just admiring their handiwork. 
Last Friday afternoon, we checked the nest again. As I walked into the shed, one of the babies flew out of the nest!
With its sibling off on an adventure, only one baby still resides in the nest. 
Their parents were none too pleased at the attention we were giving their babies. One led a particularly vocal protest and tried dive-bombing the shed.
Nature is a marvel, isn't it? I took the first nest photos on April 23, just a couple of days after Randy initially discovered the nest. The newly-hatched babies looked like space aliens on May 8. And then, by May 19 - less than a month after we discovered the nest - one robin was already off exploring the world.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.
Emily Dickinson


  1. Kim,
    Nature really is an amazing thing. We are so blessed to live the country life and experience the full circle of life.

    I can't believe the Robin built her nest on the 4-wheeler rack.

    Our steel gray wild mother cat acts like she has babies. I have not seen them, but she acts protective when I enter the barn to feed the pride of cats. I have too many cats. When I step off the deck in the morn, they come from all directions and follow me to the barn. No kidding.

    We are branding the young calves tomorrow. J instructed me to make sure and close the barn doors after feeding the cats so they are not in the way when we sort cattle. I have too many cats!

  2. According to me, we have too many cats, too. Randy would likely not agree. We have some new kittens. Some are up near the house that Randy is trying to tame. I'm sure we have others that are keeping their distance. I need to get some photos of them. Even I have to admit that they are getting cute.

    Randy has one cat that will follow him like a dog. He went across the road to check wheat. Target followed him there and back. The cats usually don't get in our way when we're working with cattle though.

    Good luck with the branding!Hope it all goes well and safely!

    1. The small things that make us smile. We have to admit life is better with a few animals around the farm yard. I will admit that it's nice to have a minimum amount of mice!

    2. Yes. The cats around here definitely earn their keep by keeping mice at bay! Now, if we could find a way to keep a couple of barn swallows from building a nest at the back door. We have knocked it down repeatedly. It's our own version of Animal Kingdom, I guess!