All Gone

On Sunday, this was the poop crusted nest. I guess these conditions don't bother them.

On Sunday, this was the poop crusted nest. I guess these conditions don’t bother them.

“Quick come here, wear shoes,” my husband calls to me as he sticks his head into the house. Quickly I leave my desk and grab my shoes as I hustle into the garage. He leads me around the side of the house. I now know this must have something to do with the infant wrens that have been living in the spruce. Unfortunately, he didn’t say bring your camera. My phone is sitting on my desk. So if this is a fleeting moment, I will only be able to describe it with words. Mentally I am fussing at myself for not grabbing some device. (FYI, it is now Thursday)

However, it is not a fleeting moment. I have time to get back into the house for the camera. In fact I have about twenty hours to record this sight. There on one slim branch of the spruce is one of the babies.

"I'm not looking at her!"

“I’m not looking at her!”

I stay back and employ the zoom feature of the camera. I do not want to be responsible for startling this young wren and making it lose its grip on the branch. Its back is to me, as I try to angle and get a close shot of this petrified baby bird. Or is it a teenager now?

Overhead mama is having a fit. She flits from one roof to the next with nonstop squawking . Let’s just imagine we can translate, I’m thinking she is saying: “Don’t let go! Lady, get away from my baby! What do you think you are doing? This is a training session you are interrupting! Go back into your house! Leave us alone! Close your eyes baby! Don’t look down! Step away from the tree, no, not you baby! If I was braver, I’d peck your head and push you away! Why, why, why?” There were probably additional words which I won’t print here too.

She must be able to chirp with her beak closed, because she was having a fit over my presence.

She must be able to chirp with her beak closed, because she was having a fit over my presence.

After I took a few photos, I returned to the house so mama could calm down and continue with her lesson. Several more times during the afternoon and in the evening, I went out to check on the baby. It was still hanging on to that same branch but it had turned around. Unfortunately it rained a bit in the afternoon. So in the morning, it looked quite plump. However, after rain soaked the feathers, it looked considerably smaller and more pathetic. It continues to keep its eyes closed. The theory must be, if I can’t see you, you can’t see me.

This poor chick did not know to get out of the rain. So now it looks much thinner.

This poor chick did not know to get out of the rain. So now it looks much thinner.

In the morning I went out to get the paper, but I took a quick peek down the side of the house. Believe it or not, it was still clinging to the branch. Poor little wren! What a miserable night it must have had! Later I checked on it and this time it was no where to be found. All that was left was a very poop covered branch. (I’ll let you imagine this one.)

In the beginning, there were five eggs, but I think only three hatched. I don’t know when the others flew the nest, but no one is home now. Sigh! How quickly they grow up and leave the nest!


13 thoughts on “All Gone

  1. I thought of you and your wonderful bird photos this past week when I was out in Pittsburgh. While I didn’t see many birds there, we went to the Phipps Conservatory and I took lots of photos of orchids and butterflies. The whole time I kept thinking of you and the incredible stories you tell through words and photos. Don’t know that I have a true story to tell through my images. (Unless you count the one of my daughter thinking the butterflies were bees. Well, maybe that IS a story! Though not one her older self will appreciate reading online when she’s a teenager.)

  2. You captured this tale so perfectly with your words (and pictures)! I love the image of the mommy bird that you created. That’s some tough love there.
    Thanks for sharing this with us – it’s a perfect mentor text for a small moment piece of writing!

  3. I just had to laugh reading this. My husband and I do the same thing. We were watching two red squirrels who had discovered our seed block this morning and were having a staring contest to see who would leave. We both tend to talk for animals. Our dog and cat now just look at us as if we are saying the wrong things… I think they are just trying to fool us into thinking we don’t know what they are really saying when we really do know.
    Thanks for this wonderful look into your talking animals!
    I have made a “found poem”of SOL post titles today and your title is in my poem!

  4. I love the immediacy of your post, Elsie….moment by moment you walked us through ts discovery of life in your yard. The wren looks rather clueless, as out own kids do….there is a world to discover beyond the nest, and there always comes that first step….

  5. I love how you imagined the mom talking to you. We haven’t found one nest this year! I think we have some smarter birds this year… or it could be because of the hawk that comes and sits in our birch, just waiting at the feeder. Next week I’m going to do a garden story. xo

  6. I am so envious. I love witnessing the wonder of life in my back yard. Many times I am so excited to see the sight hat I forget my camera. Wonderful pictures. I love the picture of the birds closed eyes.

  7. This IS a great story.. and many lessons abound. One: You make your bed ( or poop encrusted bed) you have to lie in it. Two: Resilience. Hold on and ride the wave when the storms come in, even if you are dampened, cold, depleted, or “pathetic,” – if you persevere, flight and adventures await you. And lastly, listen to your mother. Those were some disciplined little wrens, huh? Thank you for sharing.. all I see in my yard are annoying squirrels that eat my trash. Although, maybe I’ll pay more attention to those little guys now.

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