Monday, July 5, 2010


It's official - I am a Crazy Bird Lady.  I see my corporate neighbors watching me when I peak into the bushes, repeatedly. Or gaze up at the sky, for longer than a normal person would or should.

I am ignoring the finches, pigeons, geese and swallows.  For now I'm focused on the blackbirds.  They show me where LITTLE ONE is.

It's been a week since LITTLE ONE left the orange flower pot - his makeshift nest perched on the top step of a six foot ladder.

On the first day of his freedom, while hidden in the holly bush just below my dining room window, I watched him being fed.  Knowing his parents can find him is comforting. I try my best not to worry. Nature and his parents will take good care of him.

A few days later, LITTLE ONE moved beyond the holly bush.  This is good because it was too close to the ground. I was worried Kittay would escape the confines of the house, capture, kill him and claim it was justified due to her unwarranted quarantine.

For now, LITTLE ONE spends his time between a lush evergreen bush and the lowest branches of a tall pine tree. Both are between our neighboring office building and the waterfall.  It's a great spot for LITTLE ONE - Kittay, never goes anywhere near here.  

He still has some growing up to do.  This morning, while chasing his parents for food, he crashed into a second floor office window.  It was all I could do NOT to rush over and pick him up.  He recovered quickly then spent some quiet time in the shade.

I can easily distinguish a blackbirds call from the other chicks.  As best as I can tell, there are two remaining blackbird nests - both are very close to LITTLE ONEs original nest.

Early yesterday morning while walking Mylo, my daughters miniature pincher, he stuck his nose into a bush and pulled out a small grey creature. It's scream was high pitched and quick. I was certain it was a chirp. My scream was frantic and blood curdling. Convinced he found LITTLE ONE, I yanked on his leash, pulled open his mouth and watched a tiny mole drop out.

Walking back, I noticed a few of my neighbors, on their balconies, eyeing the Crazy Bird Lady.  I kept my head held high and Mylo, the triumphant hunter, close to my side.

As for my other neighbors - the Chickadee's are annoyingly skittish and I am amazed at how relaxed the robins are. They spend more time strutting their stuff on the ground then flying.

Most of the orioles have left the large birch tree at the base of the river and as much as I try to attract hummingbirds, with a habitat of pink and purple tubular flowers, they prefer the towering stalks on the adjacent restaurants' deck.

I buried yet another baby swallow today - this is the 9th. Poor little fellow couldn't have been hatched for more than a few days.  To mark their graves, I make tiny crosses out of twigs and add a few fresh picked flowers from my garden.

Why do so many chicks end up on the ground?

Above my neighbors garage is a nest of baby swallows - 5 in total.  One, the "Runt," is noticeably not up to speed. Typically, he's backwards in the nest and his feathers are not as full or bright as the others.

Yesterday the first, brave little chick, hopped out of his nest and perched on the steel eye beam that supports their home.

As of this morning, all but Runt have stepped outside the nest.

I will need to keep a close eye on THIS "Little One."

Green Monkey Tales © 2010 Shannon E. Kennedy

"LOVE BIRD" headband and many unique finds can be purchased at 
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  1. Awwww...Well, at least you're not " The Cat Lady," was so afraid I was gonna end up with that one until all our little feral kittys disappeared...No, it was not me...

  2. Well, at least you can blame it on the birds. Me, I'm just plain CRAZY. Chirp on, sister.

  3. I like the NOLA-inspired headgear...... How are you with chewing up worms and spitting them out? I think you'd make a good surrogate bird mother....

  4. Too funny. At least you have an excuse. Haha. I got nothing. Love the photos.

  5. After watching "Grey Gardens" the documentary, musical and the HBO special - I feared I would become the crazy cat lady.

    yes, Chris, that headgear is super cool - BURNERwear for sure.

  6. My hubby inspired me to birdwatch and it is a joy to follow their journeys, especially the "little ones". Thanks for stopping by my place and I'll be back!

  7. Nice one...the pics of the birds are great!!the hummingbird was well captured..

  8. Great updates and photos, wonderfully written!

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  10. I love these pictures. Am always happy to read how people are fans of little birds like these. So often they're overlooked, but they're just so beautiful & it's great that you're helping to watch over them! :)

  11. wooooooh whooooo!!! my "dirty birdie" goggles are on the way!

  12. LOL @ crazy bird lady. I love hearing the updates on little one. So if you are crazy and you actually got to see the bird IRL, what does that make me??? LOL. Great pics.

  13. I LOVE that first headband! LITTLE ONE is adorable! And the baby birds who look like they're singing together sure did charm me! I like your nature writing.

  14. in the "singing" swallow picture they all we watching momma heading towards the nest. I cropped her out of the photo because she was in flight and not in focus. See Runt on the far left - he's the only clueless one. BUT...I'm happy to report that Runt has left the nest!!! Unlike LITTLE ONE, they are hanging close to their nest.

    This morning, I removed the ladder and orange flower pot. Found two more dead swallows. Buried them together.

    I force myself to focus on the living - realizing this is exactly how I survived my son's death. I focused on my daughter Lindsay and Grandson - Kerry's son - Jackson. Without them, I have no idea where I would be today...

  15. Sadly... :(

    Last night Kittay swatted at a swallow and got it. He crashed to the ground. Unable to fly with what looks like a broken neck, I took him to the vets this morning so he could be euthanized. It was too painful to watch him suffer. I'm afraid this was "RUNT" I called a bird expert to ask her opinion and she was the one who suggested I have put to sleep. Not an easy decision to make. He tried to hard to fly as I was preparing to take him - as though he knew.

  16. I understand that I am talking to myself, but I want to document this...

    Just called the vet they are giving RUNT meds and hydrating him. They are going to wait to see how he is doing.

  17. Enjoyed hearing about you and your birds. You have a way with words. Are you sure you are not Irish as you have the gift of the gab.

  18. I use to love bird watching..until my neighbor put up a fake owl. After several months of the looking at the scary thing..... I'm not saying how but it disappeared. The birds are still leery though.


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