Life's Little Moments

By dbifulco

Number 25

Adding to my yardbird list for the year with the female Red-winged Blackbird.  She looks totally different from the male of this species so I will post him for the list at some point too.  Blackbirds nest in a marshy area about a quarter mile from here so we get them during the spring and early summer months - always fun even if they do consume amazing quantities of food.

I've been following my nest full of chickadees closely as they really should have fledged 2-3 days ago.  I suspected that they had not developed as quickly as usual due in part of cooler temps when they hatched and brood size (8).  Well, today I saw two of them fledge and it didn't go well.  They weren't able to make it to the tree branch some 20 feet away and both ended up on the ground - not a good place for a baby bird to be.  It looked like some of the stronger siblings were already out of the nest and up in the tree, but these two were in trouble.  I finally saw one get enough lift to get into the tree but the second one just couldn't do it.  

So, you probably know what happened next...yes, I spent the better part of 30 minutes trying to slowly sneak up on him so I could get him up onto a branch in the tree.  I'd get close - he'd hop/fly several feet.  I'd get close again - again with the hop/fly.  By now, I was at defcon-5 on the stress scale because I was afraid the neighbor's cats (who he insists on leaving out year-round) would find my little chickadee.  And about then, he just sat in the grass, exhausted, allowing me to scoop him up and pup him in the willow tree.  A parent was on hand immediately to take over, thank heavens.  As of 20 minutes ago, there is still at least one baby (probably two) in the box, stubbornly refusing to leave.  Mom and Dad are feeding everyone - the yard is filled with the sounds of them calling to their brood.  As for me - I'm down to defcon-4.  

A good call with bestie, Peggy, this afternoon - comparing notes on how stressful this new reality is for everyone.  I guess it helps just knowing you aren't alone - even if you're isolating.

Thanks for the kind comments yesterday.  I just feel very sad for my friend, Ellen.  Wish I could hug her right now.

Be safe.  Be kind.  Wear a mask if you can't stay a safe distance.


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