The family of birds is gone, gone, gone. It happened so suddenly. They adjusted to their new location after the first one crashed; the babies continued to grow quickly and started flapping their wings while still in the nest. And then they were gone.
The mama and papa still fly around the general area, with insects and seeds in their mouths. The parents sit on the stone sculptures and bushes, but they don’t go into the nest. They look as shocked as we do about the kids having left home.
Our cat, Bella, looks out the slider door with the most forlorn look on her face. She’ll whimper, then glance towards us for an answer: Where’d they go?
I did take a walk around the yard to see if I could make any astute observations about their whereabouts. No luck. My lack of success with Louis Agassiz’s principle, “Study nature, not books.” led me straight to Google. I learned that the young flyers do not return to the nest, but are still fed by mom and dad in nearby trees. And I also read that the female starts to lay a second clutch of eggs within a few days after the first brood leaves. So much for enjoying or converting the spare room. The young eventually become more independent, find food and feed themselves, but continue to live within the parents’ territory, but not the nest.
I enjoyed being part of this whole process and until today didn’t even know what kind of birds these are. Labeling and pigeon holing are not my forte. Thanks to Mass Audubon (http://www.massaudubon.org/birdatlas/bba1/index.php?search=yes&id=99), I think they’re Eastern Phoebe, maybe, kinda, sorta. This is the third or fourth year that they’ve returned to the same spot. Fingers crossed for a second brood. Maybe I’ll even be able to take some pictures without disturbing them. I do want them back.