Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nest Intervention

Our latest backyard drama took a sad turn this week when I took Cole out one morning for his walk. He dragged me around to the grill out back, where we discovered that sometime during the night two of the baby wrens had crawled out of the grill nest and had fallen on the ground. When I found them one had already gone to little bird heaven, and although I carefully replaced the second in the nest, he was in bad shape and passed on a few hours later.

I know, they're just birds, but losing two of the little ones at once broke my heart. So I gathered up some pine needles, and built a retainer wall on the open side of the nest to keep the rest of the babies from falling out.

I also removed the grill rack for the duration, because with my nest augmentation in place it would have been hard for their mom and dad to get to them.

The remaining three are fine and growing up fast, thanks to their parents, who are constantly bringing food to them.

Across the yard from the nest is my oldest, most bad-tempered rose bush (if you read my Darkyn novels, it's the same bush Liling described in Twilight Fall.) We finally found the nerve to cut it back this spring, and for weeks it just sat there looking dead, so I thought it was destined for flower heaven. Since Grill Mama built her nest, however, it's sprouted a dozen new canes, and I wasn't really surprised to see two new opening buds on it this morning.

Rest in peace, little guys.


  1. Your a good bird Godmother. :)
    And the flowers look beautiful!

  2. Birds are the jewels of nature.

  3. The amazing grace of those blooming roses after the baby birds died...thanks for sharing.

  4. My 5 yo has been following this bird-opera avidly. He was very sad about the little ones dying. He told me we needed to build a nest in our grill. I pointed out that daddy might not like that.

    Your roses are beautiful.

  5. Is sad. Was also very sad when my cat wiped out a nest of blue tits recently. Catses do have their disadvantages.

  6. Friday afternoon, my kids and I were walking down the sidewalk when we found a newly-hatched chick lying on the pavement. I mean, this thing was out of the egg maybe hours - you could see its organs through its nearly-transparent skin. I looked around for a nest but couldn't see even a tree nearby, so I figured it must have been dropped by a predator. Its little beak opened and closed and it cheaped pitifully, but there was nothing we could do for it. I put it in the shade of a thorny bush, to give it some protection and keep it out of the sun, but I told the kids that it wouldn't live long without its mother to provide the right kind of food. They were devastated.

    Later that evening, my son told me I should have put it out of its misery. I agreed with him, but told him I didn't have the ability to kill it flat out that way. He asked me today if I thought it was still alive and I told him it probably died quickly since it was so vulnerable. We are all still thinking about that tiny baby that didn't even have a chance.