Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Fledglings (plus update!)

When we moved to our new home and had the usual inspection conducted, the inspector noted that a vine on the end of the house was inappropriately close to the electrical connection coming into the house, and he recommended cutting it back or removing it.  At that point, the vine was only just beginning to leaf out, so I didn't know what it was.  After we moved in, I determined that the vine is actually a climbing hydrangea, which is really quite lovely, and not extremely aggressive like some other vines.  We decided that the best thing to do would be to remove the top portion of the vine which was actually around the electrical entrance, and leave the bottom portion, pruning it regularly to avoid future problems.

I went up the ladder to prune the top part and cut the main stem shortly after we moved in.  That's when I discovered the robin's nest.  Unfortunately, the robin had built her nest in the part of the plant that needed to be removed.  I hoped that it was empty, but when I felt inside the nest, I discovered that there were already eggs present.  I decided that I would just cut the main stem and leave the nest in place until any babies had been successfully raised, and afterwards I'll remove the pruned parts.  I began to say a morning greeting to Mrs. Robin on her nest, and she would eye me warily each day.

Of course, I've been actively watching the pair of robins bring food to their little ones and call with alarm when they are disturbed by local cats.

I could also see little beaks poking up out of the nest, but I wasn't sure how many babies were there. I thought it was two.  Here you can see two little beaks in the middle of the picture - little orange flashes.

I was very worried about my cat, Izzy, because although she tends to spend a lot of time lazing around in the garage, she is still an outdoor cat because of her inability to consistently use the litter-box and her habit of peeing on any carpet or rug or mat on the floors, as well as in our shoes.  I vowed to watch the nest regularly and when I saw the babies getting close to fledging, I would keep Izzy inside for a day or two to allow them a chance to get their wings sorted out.  You can see how the top part of the vine has died back since I cut it and I worried it would make the nest more exposed and vulnerable, but all has gone well.

Today, when I went outside, I noticed one of the babies was sitting on the edge of the nest, so I knew it was likely to be fledging day!

I have the windows open, and sure enough, as I was sitting at my desk working, I heard a big commotion outside with a lot of twittering.  I ran to make sure that the next door neighbour's cat wasn't involved, and found this little darling on the garden steps, with his parents creating quite the ruckus while I snapped a quick picture.

I encouraged the little one into the cover of some nearby woodland plants to keep it more covered.

There are two other babies in the nest who were eagerly peering out at me - so a total of three!  I think they'll come out today as well.  Unfortunately, we have torrential rain at the moment, so I hope the first one is well covered and that the others stay in the nest until it dries up a bit.  At least the rain might keep the neighbour's cat away for the time being.  I'm so pleased and excited to have this little family choosing to live at my home!

I am pleased to report that all 3 babies fledged today and in a happy coincidence, the NB Power guy was here today to look at something for Marc.  He was able to assist with the cutting down of the vine remainder, and I now have the empty nest.  The vine looks nice and tidy and the robins are still flying around gathering for their babies but they were unconcerned about us being near the nest.

I love the nest - it's so carefully built and shaped - what a lovely little nursery for baby robins!

Maybe I will start a collection of bird nests!


Anonymous said...

Wonderful! Glad they made it.

Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

It is such a worry when the babies leave the nest and aren't flying yet! We have had a lot of Robins and Doves this year plus we have cats, the older cats know to stay away from them but this new cat Mango is just learning, we keep after him and hope he learns we are not happy with him after the birds.

Beth Donovan said...

Lovely! My mom always put a bird's nest in the Christmas Tree. She found one after the robins had left it one spring and sprayed it with a sealer.

Michelle said...

I love happy endings!