Thursday, June 24, 2010

BEEing A Mom: The Nest (Part 2)

The morning after the blackbirds attacked our mama robin, I peeked into her nest hoping to find the eggs. To my surprise and delight, the babies hatched from their eggs overnight. Tucked away safely in the nest, I could only see the tops of their fuzzy heads. The mama robin sat in the nest with her babies most of that day.

From a quick internet search, I learned that baby robins typically stay in the nest for up to two weeks. The mama and daddy robins hunt for worms for the babies, capturing as many as 100 meals a day.

Over the next two weeks, we watched as the parents cared for the three babies, each taking turns to retrieve worms and guard the nest. I marveled at the dedication exhibited by both parents and how they worked together to nurture their babies.

Hayden and I visited the nest daily to observe the progress of the babies. We kept our visits short, not wanting to disrupt the parents' efforts in feeding them. On two occasions, one of the parents swished by my ear, warning me to not get too close. I quickly stepped away from the nest, respecting the robin's request.

We always knew when the babies were being fed. A raucous of chirps erupted from the nest during each feeding. With the nest just outside my bedroom window, I often awoke early each morning to the babies' indulging on their breakfast of worms.

Three mornings ago, I was about to open the back door to let my golden retriever outside when I saw one of the babies perched on the deck's railing. I held my breath as I watched it explore the world outside its nest. What a glorious sight it was to watch the baby fly!

I checked the nest, and only one of the babies remained in it. Throughout the day, the parents continued to feed this baby, and several times, I found the baby perched on the edge of the nest, contemplating whether to leave it and join her siblings.

As I was cleaning up after dinner that night, Hayden rushed into the kitchen and said, "Mommy, the baby fell out of the nest." I hurried outside with him and searched around the tree for the baby. Moments later, we found the baby standing on a rock below the tree, unharmed and observing her new world.

With nightfall approaching, I had hoped the baby would remain in the nest overnight, as it was safer up there than on the ground. We watched her as she struggled to flutter her wings and fly. My husband and I considered trying to lift her back up into the nest, but when I stepped outside to check on her, I found she was no longer on the rock. We soon found her hopping across the street to our neighbor's front porch.

The mama robin stood on a nearby fence, watching the baby. Every so often, she'd fly down next to the baby and chirp at her. The baby kept fluttering her wings, trying to fly. Each time, she seemed to gain more height. She soon disappeared into the shrubs as the moon rose in the east and night fell on the first day of summer.

Hayden and I entered our house with heavy hearts, once again hoping for the best for the baby robin. As we were saying our bedtime prayers that night, Hayden prayed for the baby robin. He looked up at me and said, "And God hears us."

"Yes, honey," I said. "He sure does." My heart warmed at the faith my son showed me.

I don't know if the baby robin made it through the night. Over the last two days, I've seen at least one of the babies perched in the trees surrounding my house. Deep within, I want to believe she made it.

I'm saddened about the birds leaving the nest, but I'm also celebrating their new lives and the lessons they taught us--how to stand up for the vulnerable, how to be a nurturing parent, and how to believe with our hearts that God really does hear us.

1 comment:

  1. I really like this. You need to do something with it. Mom.