The Robin Babies Are All Gone

It's been a frustrating and tiring past week. We made every effort we could think of to save all the robin babies, without causing the mother to abandon the nest. But, it just wasn't enough. We reached 10 days of life and it all came to an end at 12:30 in the morning. I'm a cat lover, but I am not very happy with the orange cat roaming around our neighborhood right now.

These are the last of the pictures I have of the babies. Going into day 8 we still had two and they were healthy and growing, as far as we could see (even after being thrown from the nest!). Although the one toward the back of the nest looked smaller.
By day 9, tragedy had stuck again and only one was left. I didn't get a great picture on this day because I didn't want to disturb the nest and baby any more than it had been already. It was also on this day that we took our last ditch effort at saving the last bird by cutting the huge porch wreath that the nest was build on into about 1/4 of it's total size. This left about a 1/4 half-moon shaped piece of wreath (which the nest sat on top of) secured to the top of our shutters. We also put this netting on the porch and fashioned to act like a hammock of sorts. With the thought that if the cat couldn't get any traction or balance to jump up, it couldn't reach the baby -and with the wreath missing, the cat also couldn't climb up the wreath to the top.
If you look really close at the day 9 picture you can see the little guy's eye is open. I'm sure he's huddled in out of fear. Poor little thing.

We got through the night without incident and on day 10 the little guy was still there. I nick-named him "rocket" because now that he was older and stronger, when mama robin came to feed him he would shoot out of his nest so much so that I thought he was going to lift off!
You can see in this picture too that his eyes are open, he's got most of his feathers now and looks pretty good overall. We went to bed that night thinking we had solved the problem and it was going to be okay. Then while in a deep sleep, I have no idea how I heard this, but I heard a noise and as I bolted awake I processed what it could have been. As I threw the covers back (and swore out loud -tsk, tsk) I ran downstairs and looked outside. All looked quiet and nothing looked disturbed. But I wasn't satisfied. I went outside and although I didn't look in the nest, I did notice the nest was farther away from the house than it should have been. I think in my heart of hearts, I knew and just couldn't muster the energy or emotions to look. I did search around the porch and again, nothing looked disturbed.

(We've come to the conclusion that the cat didn't jump from the floor but rather jumped from the porch railing and somehow, was just able to cling on to the nest long enough to grab the baby. The noise I heard must have been him using his nails to hang on and then eventually sliding down the house.)

But, next morning my husband confirmed he (the last baby bird) was gone. I was so angry and so tired. We tried so hard and it just wasn't fair. I had to strongly supress the feelings of what that bird must have gone through. All I could hope was that it was quick. Strangely, when I went outside to investigate (after I heard the noise), mama robin wasn't around -she wasn't even giving her warning chirp. I thought that odd. As of today, she hasn't been back that I've noticed. It's all just so sad.


The Beading Gem said...

I am so sorry to hear the bad news. You did all you could.

Stephanie said...

Aww, thanks for your kind words Pearl.