Monday, June 30, 2008


The robin babies leave the nest in the same order that they hatch and once they're out in the big world life is not easy. They are still dependent on the parents for food, usually the papa, and they still have to build up their muscles. A good birding method is listen-stop-look. There is a specific baby robin call, "cheep cheep!", or "cheep cheep CHEEP!", which means, "Feed me!" and "Feed me NOW!" I was walking on the path and heard, "cheep cheep", followed the sound and saw the new fledgling being fed. It was a windy day. The baby looked around, tried to fly and toppled to the ground. It didn't have the strength to deal with the wind's force. I could not see the baby on the ground from my position on the path. The view was blocked by a cement planter. I could here the baby and decided to get into the garden. That meant going back into the building and coming out the back door. I tiptoed closer and heard, "cheep cheep", followed the sound and found the baby safely on another branch in the next tree. But just to be sure I went to look at the ground under the first tree and there lay a dead baby robin. My heart sank. Dead baby exactly where the baby had fallen. This baby was face down, so I got a twig and turned it over. It was already maggotty and that doesn't happen in 15 minutes, so most likely this was a prior fledge, fell off same branch and either broke neck and/or wing in a fall. The mortality rate is high for baby robins. The safe baby stayed in the new tree all afternoon, clinging on for dear life and being catered to by parent.

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