Monday, June 28, 2010


It has been a little over a week since we found LITTLE ONE early Sunday morning, on Father's day, and I am amazed at how quickly he has grown.

We returned yesterday from a weekend in Saratoga Springs, New York and, to our amazement, discovered a second bird in our makeshift nest.  This bird is larger and does not appear to be a blackbird. 

Where did he come from?

They became startled when we checked on them and both flew out of the pot.  Clearly they are not ready to be on their own, both are hopping around the pavement as though it is a well protected bird sanctuary.  

Thinking we caused not one, but two, birds' demise - we are devastated.

Instead of retreating from the high temperature and humidity, we spend the next few hours trying to coax them back into the nest.  After many failed attempts they are successfully captured only to quickly fly back out.  

Eventually, the larger bird hops onto my extended finger and I am able to carry him over to a second pot and he jumps in.  I am out of ladders so I put his pot on the large orange barrel near the original pot.  

LITTLE ONE is much harder to capture. The first time I catch him he looks me right in the eyes and screams so loud I cry.  He is scared but tries his best to act fierce.

We eventually corner him below a rock, scoop him up, put him back in his pot and cover the pot with a clear lid until he calms down.  

A few hours later, the larger bird aka "Squatter" flies from his lower level pot back into LITTLE ONE's pot.

In my opinion the nest is not large enough for two and I'm concerned LITTLE ONE is uncomfortable.

LITTLE ONE's parents begin feeding them almost immediately but it appears as though Squatter is taking more than his fair share.  

Half way into my second martini, I catch my neighbor climbing the ladder and yell to Mark to intervene.  Mark, who is non-confrontational, reads her the riot act and she agrees to stay away from the nest.  She tells him she noticed Squatter in the pot Saturday afternoon and thought it was LITTLE ONEs mother. 

The next day, with two dogs and cat in tow, I go out for a walk early this morning.  LITTLE ONE and Squatter are in their pot and both are being fed.  

On my return I discover a small barn swallow that has also left his nest prematurely.  I'm almost certain he will make it.  He has all his feathers and is capable of flying, if only for a short distance.  

We have lived in our home for over 7 years and never have I seen such bird drama.  Am I more aware or are the birds more confused?  

An hour or so later, I notice the nest is not being fed and when I check, it is empty. 

I don't know what happened.  I don't know if someone climbed the ladder and frightened them or if they jumped out on their own. 
For now, I'm contemplating what to do.  Both birds are hanging out under a car that is parked next to their nest.

Squatter is resilient enough to adopt a nest, so I'm not too worried about him, but LITTLE ONE cannot fly well enough to get back into his nest.

Do I try to corral LITTLE ONE again and put him back in his pot?  The carport is full of corporate employees cars, and without Marks assistance, I doubt I will be able to capture him.  Even if I am successful how will I convince him he should stay inside his nest?  

I place a small plastic container of water on the ground, incarcerate the cat indoors and text Mark.

Without sounding completely irrational, the thought of LITTLE ONE stranded and helpless makes me physically ill.  How do you care for something so fragile and not getting emotionally involved. Perhaps we should not have interfered with nature but I don't know how to look the other way.  

Mark suggests I try to get him back in the nest.

I wipe my tears and head back outdoors.  I search everywhere.  LITTLE ONE IS GONE.  

empty nest

for more about LITTLE ONE, day one:


Tuesday, June 29th - LITTLE ONE is living in a holly bush, just outside my dining room window.  We first spotted him here last night while we were taking the dogs for a walk.  This morning, hidden behind a curtain, I watched him being fed.  Tears of relief and joy and hope streamed down my face. 

I should have realized that his parents would not give up on him, that they'd recognize his cry and continue to feed him.  I have left the makeshift nest, the orange pot, on the ladder where its been for a little more than a week.  Someone else may need it.  

Squatter was spotted yesterday afternoon in a lilac bush, just outside my front door.  He is also being fed by a blackbird, even though I'm not convinced he is a blackbird.  If he is, he is much larger then LITTLE ONE.  

Life is good outside of the nest.  

The cat remains contained inside the house.  Pissed off Kittay is not a pretty sight!


  1. It is hard the first time baby birds near your home just disappear. For the last several years, we have had a pair of doves make a nest in one of our hangin basket. We think it is the same pair, but we could be wrong. Afer many pairs of babies have hatched and taken off from our balcony, we still are a little sad to see an empty nest where babies were only that morning.

    It is weird that we rarely see them learning to fly, but occasionally, we do see the last flight out of the nest into the huge tree overhanging it.

    You are a good person to worry about little birds so!

  2. You KNOW I feel your pain here! It's crazy how intensely we can get involved with these little creatures, isn't it?

  3. Oh my goodness, that's not the ending I was expecting. And maybe it isn't the ending? I'm going to choose to believe that LITTLE ONE is fine.

  4. I'm with Katie. I also choose to believe that Little One is fina and because of all your love and concern he became strong enough to fly away and join his bird family. :-)

  5. Katie, your belief has materialized !!! LITTLE ONE is living in a holly bush just outside my dining-room window AND his parents are feeding him :)

    We spotted him yesterday while walking the dogs and then again today.

    Squatter was spotted yesterday afternoon in a lilac tree just outside our front door and he was being cared for by the blackbirds.

  6. I have a bird nest above my bow window every year, at first I removed it but they came back and made a new one. So I just left it up there year after year and a new family of birds move right in! (>:

  7. This post moves me more than I can express -- partly because of having my own bird experiences and feeling that angst you have shared. And partly because your heart is so big, so full, so beautiful to care so much.

    The move on, they live the course of life. But oh! The joy when we know we have been able to help -- even a little.

  8. you are invited to follow my blog

  9. Hi. I came across your blog through another blog I follow and have signed up as a follower. When you’re free, please do visit me and let me know what you think of my blog and leave a comment. If you like, do follow as well. I am always open to great new people and interesting websites. Look forward to hearing from you.

  10. So happy to have read the update! Cheers to LITTLE ONE and the love that surrounds him.

  11. Thanks for keeping us updated. I love that they are doing well. Great pics.

  12. I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you over to my blog. Feel free to check it out and make comments.

    God bless, Lloyd

  13. Thank god you found him! I've been loving this story.

  14. This was such a heartwarming story.



Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison