Well, I thought I should finish the tale of the baby robins, even though it pains me to do so. It has turned into a sad story, and even though I know this is the way of the animal world, it’s still really hard for me to look at these images without feeling sad. 🙁
Read on if you’d like to hear the story…or just skim over the words and keep your eyes on the photos if you’d like to enjoy them but not know the outcome.
This shot was taken on Thursday, July 24th. Babies are still growing fast and the mother is keeping a close eye on them:
The next six images were taken the next day, Friday, July 25th. The older ones are becoming more aware of their surroundings and not as quick to pop-up looking for food as the youngest.
Noah hangs out with me, just inside the front door, to watch the babies on the Friday.
The next images were taken on Saturday, July 26th. I think you can start to see one of the issues…the nest is quite small for the growing babies.
Noah is watching the babies with me, and I manage to catch some shots of him:
This is the last shot I have of the runt of the brood, at some point Saturday night, or Sunday during the day (as we were out all day…images to follow), the baby of the group disappeared. I’m sure that the two larger siblings pushed it out of the nest, though I’m not sure what happened to it at that point as we could find no sign of it.
It still makes me sad to see images of the baby, as it was my favorite. 🙁 I can’t help thinking that if the little guy could have just lasted in the nest for another 24–36 hours….
On Sunday the children were sure that the smallest one was under the two largest ones…the next day it became obvious that that wasn’t the case. Whenever we came out of the house the two remaining babies would hunker down in the nest.
That night we had a rain storm, the mother came to watch over, and sometimes hovered overtop of the two remaining babies protecting them from the rain.
On Monday, July 28th at first there was great excitement, as Noah looked out my office window and saw one of the babies out of the nest, on a branch. We all ran down to see, and I grabbed this quick shot.
The excitement quickly turned to screaming and tears though. Rebecca and I went back inside to finish getting ready to go off to camp. Noah came back in to put his shoes on, to go outside and watch the babies. I soon heard screaming and crying, that one of the babies was on the road (for those that don’t know, Avenue Road is a large North/South road in Toronto, where we are it’s a very busy four lane section), and dashed down and outside. Indeed, one of the babies was on the road, I at a loss as to what to do as I waved the northbound traffic around the baby, and then, not knowing what else to do, scooped up the baby to get it off the road. It was dead, likely hit by a car as it tried to practice flying. Unfortunately, rather then keeping close to the houses along Avenue Road, it made the fatal mistake of flying straight out into morning traffic. Maybe because the parents often flew across and perched on a house across the street.
Noah was very upset, crying and crying. It was so sad and tragic. We buried the robin in the front yard before making our way to camp.
Of course the thing that became very obvious to me, upon my return home (as I watched the nest to confirm) was that indeed the runt of the brood was no longer there. Sigh. I was so sad to confirm my suspicion.
That evening I caught this shot of the remaining baby, as it perched on the nest, ready to venture out into the world. Noah was taking no chances with the remaining baby, and spent much of the night between the baby and Avenue Road, so as to block the baby if it decided to follow the fate of its’ sibling.
Caught this shot of the baby out of the nest and further south on Avenue Road.
Then this last shot, at about 7:45 pm. I managed to convince Noah to come in for the night at about 8:20, telling him he simply could not stay out all night keeping the baby safe, even though he wanted to.
The mother and father were watching over their last baby, swooping down to feed it wherever it may have been. That is the last we’ve seen of the parents and baby, though I’m very happy to report that we saw no sign of a baby robin dead on Avenue Road the next morning. I’m hoping that this one, at least, has survived and could very well be full grown by now.
Sorry that this had to be a sad post, for those who have been following the story. It is very strange to go out the front door and have the empty nest sitting there. I miss having the babies around.
I’ll have some fun shots of a visit to Kensington Market last Sunday posted later today or tomorrow….
oh holly…..what a tale….the photos are amazing and your heart and compassion is just as incredible. your son is following in your path…..
those baby robins are so adorable!