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Hartselle Enquirer

Mother bird hangs on to help her brood

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
Isaac and Collier, ages 7 and 4 respectively, came running out of my stepson Derek's room, excitement spilling out in their voices.
"Aunt Le-Le, come see what we found!," they said. I fully expected to walk in the room and discover the 14 pounds of Halloween candy I'm convinced is buried somewhere in Derek's room.
Instead, they ran to the window and pointed outside. There on the window ledge was a large bird's nest with three small, blue eggs inside. Within minutes, a robin flew up and parked herself on the nest. We tried rolling up the blinds to get a better look, but that spooked her and she flew away. Not wanting to cause any problems, we contented ourselves with taking turns peeking through the side of the blinds.
Thus began the saga of the bird and my daily watch to make sure she and her eggs ended up OK. I started my days by checking on the nest and went straight to it the moment I came home from work. I provided daily updates to Greg, who seemed rather nonplussed with the bird and her brood.
"Bird is OK," I said one afternoon. "She is holding her beak open a lot so she may be thirsty. It has been dry lately."
I placed a small bowl of water on the ground near the nest. I crumbled up some bread, too, just so she wouldn't have to go far for her evening meal.
Greg rolled his eyes.
The eggs were no larger than the end of your thumb with shells as blue as the brightest summer day. I named each of them and began referring to them by name: (Robin) Hood, Batman and (Robin) and Rockin' (Robin).
Greg laughed.
I became concerned about the bird last weekend when we experienced cold weather and high winds. My concerns were shared by mother bird, who hunkered down on her nest and didn't move for two days. This was crunch time and her maternal instincts were making sure her brood was covered.
Then, on Sunday morning, my early bird check found the blue eggs gone. In their place were three small fuzzy creatures. I know they say all new mothers think their babies are beautiful, but I couldn't help but think these were faces even a mother couldn't love. They were ugly, with closed eyes and covered in what looked like fur instead of feathers.
Mother bird was back soon, carrying some worms in her mouth. Then, another bird flew up with worms in its mouth, too. I assume this was the dad, though you can't overestimate the help provided by a good grandmother, either.
I know the bird and her brood will be gone soon. As all children, they will stretch their wings and fly away.
I will miss them all. They've made my days a little brighter.

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