Tales from the little yellow bungalow: Baby Brownie Bird
The ongoing saga of birds in my roses. . .
Yesterday morning I headed out to the front porch to sit in one of the rockers and enjoy my morning Dr. Pepper. Imagine my surprise to see this little friend sitting by the nest in the climbing rose on my porch watching me. At first I thought it was mama bird watching me, probably ready to attack. I walked over for a closer look and was surprised that the bird didn't fly away. The closer I got, I realized it must be one of the babies. I ran back in for my camera!
I was even more surprised that in the time it took to get my camera from my studio in my basement back out to the porch that the birdie was still there. As I sat there a while, the little birdie finally started moving, hopping down branch by branch until she was on the porch floor. Slowly she waddled under the rail and onto one of the hydrangeas that are as tall as the porch. She then worked her way down until she was on the ground. She then waddled through the flower bed to the sidewalk. By that time I had gone to the flower beds myself to pull some weeds. She stood on the sidewalk watching me. As I moved closer, she waddled a few steps more. She hopped a bit here and there, but clearly could not fly. I felt worried that she would not make it back to the nest so I decided to catch her.
We then began a procession down the sidewalk that wraps around my house. The closer I got the faster she waddled looking like a tiny penguin. Finally when we reached the back yard she stopped and looked up to me as if resigned to the fact that she couldn't get away. I picked her up and carried her back to the porch and up to the nest. She stepped out of my hands and back into the rose bush but not into the nest.
Later in the day I looked out the front window to see if I saw anything happening near the nest and saw that she was still sitting in the same spot. I took Emma out and lifted her up to see the bird. She decided should be named Baby Brownie Bird, well, because she is a baby, a bird, and has a lot of brown on her. Strangely, she didn't fly or hop away but just sat there wet and shaking.
I came back out in a bit and saw that she worked her way back down to the porch floor. Now I was curious what was going on. I realized that mama bird had not been around during any of this. She always had made her presence known before, but not this time. I got a chair to climb up on to look and found that the other babies were dead in the nest. I poked them with a stick and saw that there was some insect activity, they were very dead. No wonder Baby Brownie Bird did not want to go back in!
A bit later I went back out to check on Brownie and found that she had made it down to the garden. Since the dead birds were in bad shape, I decided that I should probably knock the nest down so that it didn't start stinking and get really gross. I figured that we would just have to make a new home for Brownie. As I started to poke it with a stick, I realized I heard chirping, teeny tiny chirping. Huh? This nest is an odd one, I had thought that it looked like two nests before, like a nest duplex. One part was a very usual cup like nest, the second part like a big cocoon and all closed in. I had thought maybe mama had gotten carried away and built some type of protective wall or something. I did not realize that actually was two different types of nests. Then I noticed a very new, freshly hatched baby bird laying on the porch rail below. I figured I knocked it out when I was poking around earlier at the dead birds. I couldn't figure out how to put it back into the cocoon side where it obviously came from. Great, now I am a bird killer! I felt guilty and had to bury it. Now I can't knock the nest(s) down because there are still babies, very new babies in it , but yes, next door, also a nest of decaying birds. There is just no way I can scoop the dead ones away. I am sure that I won't be able to stomach it and also without causing too much trauma to the other nest.
Ugh! Bird dilemas. . .