Thursday, June 18, 2009

EMPTY MATERNITY WARD SYNDROME.

The Maternity ward is empty. We last saw the adult Red-breasted Nuthatches on Monday night, when we were out cutting the grass, and working in the yard. The parents were quite alarmed by our presence. I thought at the time it might have been the lawnmower (noisy beast that it is). But it could have been that some or all of the babies were out of the nest, and the parents were telling them to stay very still.

Since we hadn't seen the parents for a couple of days, I checked the next tonight. Just below the opening I could see a cobweb -- sign that nobody has been into the nest for a day or two. I couldn't see into the bottom of the nest, but my conclusion was that they had gone. Gone without as much as a cheery good-bye.
Parents might abandon eggs, but not live babies. Besides, according to my calculations, it was time for the babies to be fledged and ready to go. I'm just sorry that they didn't hang around so we could see them.


Maybe next time.

12 comments:

Natalie said...

I am having the same feelings for my chicks tonight.ARGHHH!!!!!!!Chicks will be chicks, I s'pose. Maybe I'll send mine over to keep you company eh?x

cheshire wife said...

What a pity that you did not get to see the birds 'grow up'.

Snowbrush said...

I'm sorry to hear it.

Rob-bear said...

Natsy: As long as your chicks can fit through a front door of about one in diameter, they are most certainly welcome.

CW: Yeah. To tell the truth, I think we may have scared them away. Misadventure on our part.

Rob-bear said...

® Thanks, Snow. We missed the fun.

Bella said...

aww, you mean you didn't get to see them learn to fly? Birds are mysterious and at times hilarious little creatures. I once watched two birds from my front porch on the roof next door, carrying on something terrible! Obviously having a disagreement. They are fun to watch, I wished I could put up a feeder here, but with the stray cats, they would become dinner I'm afraid!

Rob-bear said...

® Sadly, Bella, we didn't even get to see them leave. I would have been fun.
We have problems, not so much with stray cats, but neighbours cats, that are allowed to roam free. That's against our local by-law, but so me people pay no attention to laws. A stone tossed against the fence changes cats attitudes!

GutsyWriter said...

A pity they "escaped." Doesn't it usually take a while for them to practice flying, before finally leaving the nest? In 3 years I shall be like the mother bird with her nest empty.

dana said...

Joe took care of all wildlife at home and we'd get so much enjoyment out of counting the nuthatches, finches, squirrels and woodpeckers who would call the food alarm whenever he'd walk outside. Now they've hopefully adjusted to our empty feeders.....what gave us (at our age) so much enjoyment goes right over the heads of the next generation.

French Fancy said...

I've never managed to see birds learning how to fly, despite ruining our balcony last winter by hanging bird feed balls all over the place and then having to put up with the birdy consequences. I thought that would mean they would set up home in the silver birch that is just beside the balcon - but no. Traitorous birds! Used us as a restaurant and bathroom and brought their babies up elsewhere.

Hope you are feeling well and chirpy, Rob. It's good to be back here

Julie

GutsyWriter said...

Are you getting over the "empty maternity ward syndrom?" I hope so. Perhaps you're super busy fixing stuff around the house.

Rob-bear said...

® Sonia: Usually the babies take some time to master the art of flying. Which makes the whole situation curiouser. But, see today's post.

® Dana: Sorry you had to leave empty feeders at home. Should get some in Florida. You might even get to see an Ibis, or Spoonbill.

® Julie: I understand that. Rotters, aren't they? Any word from OU re. your marks?