Most of the photos here at Rabbit Run Cottage
can be enlarged just by clicking on each one!
There you go...see? Easy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Empty Nest Syndrome

As you all know, much of the last 5 weeks has found our family absorbed in our robins. Mama Robin laid the last egg on April 26th. They were the most beautiful shade of blue. Of these 5 sweet little eggs, 3 hatched. This photo was snapped on May 8th. Don't you love the little tufts of fluff? This is nature's way of keeping them warm when Mama is off foraging for worms. And poor Mom and Pop Robin kept up a dizzying schedule of feeding! On May 12th...Dear, tiny fuzz balls but their little feathers are beginning to form! May 14th...Yes, they now look like *real* birds as Gracie said! They are also getting much more active! May 16th..."Hey guys! When that lady with the camera comes out, let's all MOON her! On three..." May 18th..."Ssh. Here she comes again. Pretend you are sleeping. Maybe she will take the hint!" May 19th..."Hey lady! If you are gonna check on us so often, at least you could bring a worm or two! We are HUNGRY!"May 20th...This was the biggest baby and the most active. I knew he would be the first to leave the comforts of home. May 21st...I knew he was making his move. He was so active all day. Up and down, fluffing those wings, puffing out that chest. Mama and Papa Robin sat in our trees and called to them, over and over, for hours. I decided to go out and take another picture. I snapped this photo and, just as I went in to take another (more clear), out this little guy flew and landed on top of my head! I think it surprised him as much as it did me! In a wink of an eye, he was off again and flew straight down and into our neighbor's yard. Papa Robin joined him and the two sat there chattering away. "Well, son. I am so proud of you. Good work! You were so brave. Ah, and no matter what your Mom tells you, you DO take after me you know. I hope your brother and sister will follow your example! Your mother needs some R & R. She is still mad at me for letting Mother's Day slip my mind! Nag, nag...well, you know women...oh. You don't do you? Son, we need to have a little chat..." Mama remained in our tree *pleading* with the other two to join their brother! "Okay now. I am sick and tired of catering to you ungrateful children. It is time you grew up and went out on your own! You make a mess of the nest, expect me to feed you at all hours of the day and night. And then there is your Father. No wonder you two are so lazy. Just like your Father. No one in this family thinks I have needs...I have wants, I have desires..." The other two seemed to be having none of this *leaving the nest* silliness. Mama Robin sat in our tree and *begged* them to follow their sibling. Oh yes. She pleaded for hours! It was well after dark when she quieted down. The "Timid Twins"? They got all cozy and said, "No way Ma! It is cold out there. We like it here. Um Ma? How about some dinner? Pass me the remote Ma. Dancing With The Stars is on the tube tonight..." Just before sun up today, May 21st, Mama and Papa Robin began their begging in earnest. Grace and I sat just inside the front door and watched the show. Mama flew back and forth, nest to tree, tree to nest. She begged, she pleaded, she PUSHED! This Mom had had enough. She had a yoga class at 10 and, by gosh, she was not going to be late! Right before the school bus arrived, Twin #1 sat up, fluffed his feathers and flew! He was quickly followed by Twin # 2. I think it surprised them both! They sat on the curb and Grace, afraid that the bus would hurt them, ran outside and flapped her arms, ran in circles in front of them and pushed the twins back into the yard. There they sat, watching her. She did look familiar. Grace knelt down and the twins drew close. For just a few precious seconds, it was as if they were thanking her for our hospitality. Then, in answer to Mama R's calls, off they flew. So this is what we were left with tonight. The two unhatched eggs. Bill carefully removed the nest and placed it in a glass container I have on our deck. The eggs he buried in our garden. Our daughter made a tiny cross for it. Ah, yes, I know. Sweet kid huh? Silly, but I miss my 3 little ones already. I hope they will live a long life and stay well. Fly my little ones, fly high. Mama Robin? The last I heard, she was hitting the blackjack table at the Argosy Casino.


Susie said...

Hi Suzie Q,
I loved the story of the robins. How fun to follow this sweet beginning to life.
I think it's so touching that your daughter honored the unhatched eggs in such a tender way.
Sweet sweet post!

angelsamoungus said...

I love this post. Give Gracie a hug from "The other Aunt Terri" and tell her that I love her tender heart.

Still on for Saturday May 31st?

Take care,

The Barber Bunch said...

Great Story and pics.

How cool that he landed on your head!


Latharia said...

Oh, this is just precious! Thanks for sharing your story & those lovely photos!!!

Sheila said...

How lovely to be able to watch their progress. We had house martins nest in a hanging basket one year, and followed their progress, as you and Grace did. I remember when it was time for them to fly, the noise was something else. Isn't Nature wonderful.
What a tender hearted husband you have, and Grace is so sweet to put the unhatched eggs to 'rest'.
Love to you all

Kathleen Grace said...

How fun to be able to see how they developed and grew. Wonderful post. I think mama robin had the right idea at the end. Time for some fun!

Donna said...

How much fun to watch from the beginning to the end ~ growing up and leaving the nest!
The pictures you took are fantastic. Loved the story.

Michelle said...

those sure are some pretty blue eggs! How neat that you guys were able to watch this whole new life happening! and I loved the way you told the story :) That nest looks so perfectly round - it's amazing how birds are able to build their nests like that!

Sheila said...

Nature really is amazing! Last year we had a bunny nest right by our tree, and it was so interesting and educational watching the babies grow up and develop, and the mama waiting to feed them at night, etc.
I loved all the pictures of the birdies, from beginning to end! I'm sure it was a great learning experience to Gracie!

Brown English Muffin said...

First I had no idea you had a son I thought you just had Gracie.

Secondly I love nature at it's best!! Where was the nest located that you were able to get such good shots?

Thirdly isn't nature interesting as to how some mothers just up and abandon their little ones after they've raised them to a point...I guess it's similar to us humans when we send out kids off to college and make their bedroom into a pool room!!! LOL

Sugar Bear said...

Love the dialogue! You are so funny. So sweet that Grace made sure the eggs were properly remembered.

Kelli said...

What a wonderful story and your daughter is very sweet!

Meggie said...

Hey SusieQ! Thanks for the recap of the robins. You certainly have a way with words. So sweet that Grace was so attentive to the twins. I'd say it was a job well done by all of you. Congrats!

FHL said...

Oh Sue, J and I so enjoyed reading this!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

Grace is such a sweetheart!!!

Gretchen said...

So sweet. All of it. The cycle of life and love. Joy and loss.


justabeachkat said...

Gosh, I've enjoyed watching the progress. And it feels kinda funny tonight to know they're on they own. I pray they have a sweet life. Great photos. So sweet of Gracie to honor them.


Pamela said...

Are you on call for bird translations? I wonder how much that pays per hour.

This was fun for us - but what a great experience for Grace.
The best.

Rue said...

Good morning Sue :)

You are so funny! I loved this bird saga ;)

Annie would have burried the eggs too.

off to read more....

hugs and love,

Brenda@Spareminute cottage said...

I love the pictures of the robins from the begining to the end .I wish my nest would have been where I could have gotten better pictures.
Best Wishes

smilnsigh said...


You are so cute....


PEA said...

And now we know what robins talk about! hehe Oh Sue, how exciting it must have been to watch these little guys hatch and grow old enough to fly. I've had some hatching in our pine trees but they're usually just high enough that I can't see inside the nest. I have been known, though, to run around like a crazy woman when the grackles and crows come chasing the little ones just out of the nest!!! lol xoxo

Barbara Jacksier said...

I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your posts and rooted for your robins. Great photos, too.

TiffanyJane said...

Hiya Susie Q!! What SWEET pics of those precious baby sad about the little unhatched ones...poor things. They are beautiful eggs~I love your blog, very nice!!!