As I walked up the driveway to our house, I could hear our four birds happily singing away in the bird room, but something was out of place. There was another little voice that was calling along with them.
I walked up to our front porch and saw a fledgling robin sitting on the edge of my flower box. He looked out of proportion, with a large fluffy body, long skinny legs, gargantuan yellow beak, and tiny head. He was calling out for his mother and our birds were answering back.
I searched the sky for his parents, wondering how someone so little could be sitting on my porch all alone. He did not even know enough to be afraid of me when I first approached to see what was making the noise. I saw a bird circling the sky about half a block away, frantically calling. I wondered if that was the poor baby's mother.
All night the little bird slept on the edge of my flower box, balancing on one leg with his little feathered head tucked beneath his wing. All night I slept lightly, rising to check on him. A thunderstorm warning had been issued. I prayed that there would be no storm, that there would be no rain. I prayed that the baby bird would be safe.
Up at 5 am, I went to check on the baby. He had jumped from one side of the flower box to the other. He was crying out in hunger. Where were his parents? I was looking up the phone numbers for wildlife refuges and bird sanctuaries in our area when the chirping stopped. Concerned I went to check on him. He was gone. Not sure whether to be relieved or not, I went to the dogs' room to peer out the window. There was the little robin hip hopping across our yard and into the street. A blue truck sped past my window. Please keep him safe, I prayed.
Afraid to look, but knowing I had to, I searched the road for the little baby. He was not there. He had made it safely to the other side of the yard. He was now hip hopping across the neighbours' yard and hip hopped up the ten steps to the neighbours porch. He was safe, at least for now.
Two robins flew past and landed on the porch next door. I watched as the red breasted male flew off of the porch and into the other neighbours' yard. He was looking for the baby. He was going in the wrong direction. He then hip hopped, chirping, across the yard, back into the original yard. He must have heard the baby's cries because he hip hopped up the ten steps to the neighbour's porch then hovered above the baby's head, madly flapping his wings. The baby was in trouble. The female robin heard the racquet and came over to do the same thing. She first hovered above the baby, furiously flapping her wings, and then hovered over the male, wings madly flapping. Dad was in trouble too.
The family of robins, reunited after a long cold night, hip hopped to the side of the house and away from view.
"You realize that you are crazy when it comes to birds," said my husband.
I was silent, acting like it was normal to have a blackbird nesting in our BBQ.
The baby at 5am.