Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Hub’s Robin Family

Several weeks ago Hub was pruning a half-dead tree in the back yard when he discovered a bird’s nest with one egg in it no more than three feet off the ground. He immediately stopped pruning and was quite concerned that perhaps the nest would now be visible to predator birds. That concern led him to watch over that nest like an old mother hen.

So after that, every day he went out in the back yard with his big old beat up brown Australian cattleman hat on and stood quietly by to observe the nest. It was a robin’s nest. Initially when he went out there both birds flew away protesting loudly and the male moved to the power line where he continued to swoop down threateningly and scream protests. To prove he was a friend Hub started going to the garden, digging earthworms and placing them on a bare patch of dirt near the tree. Over two days he did this often, always moving slowly and standing still and quiet for long periods of time. And in a short period of time the birds began to realize he was not a threat. He continued doing this until the egg hatched.

Hub kept checking on the baby and before he was convinced it was ready to fly, it was gone. Hub was pained. Again he endured the sorrow and guilt that the nest was too exposed, he had a hand in that, and that was why the baby was gone.

The next day when Hub and I went for our usual dog-walk in the woods I kept hearing bird sounds close behind me. We had gone down the trail close to half a mile when the sounds seemed so close that I turned and looked up in the tree behind me. I mentioned to Hub that I kept hearing bird sounds close by. Hub looked and guess what was up in a tree no more than a few feet from us? One of Hub’s robins. Hub was wearing his big old hat and I could only think the robins had imprinted that hat in their heads and because he always gave them worms they were trailing the signature hat as we moved down the trail.

Despite the adult birds’ affection, Hub still remained more negative than positive about the fate of the baby robin. More often sad than upbeat about it. Willing himself to believe the baby was okay but still deeply convinced that because of him some harm had befallen it. But then only this morning while standing at the sink I looked out the window and three birds were hopping past in a triangle formation looking for earth worms in the wet grass from yesterday’s downpour. Two fairly large birds followed by one small one. I looked closer. It was a Mama and a Papa and a Baby robin. Oh Joy! Everyone is okay. They have all survived and this morning baby robin is happily participating in a seminar on Earthworm Location and Retrieval.

I was always under the impression that when a young bird flies the nest, they don’t come back. Guess that’s not the case. Obviously they hang out with Mom and Dad until they complete their education.


Anonymous Anne said...

I quite enjoyed that story, thank you.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Thank you, anne. I have been discouraged and bereft of writing inspiration this week so I find encouragement in the fact that one reader enjoyed this simple story. Thanks again, for taking the time to comment.

2:21 PM  

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