Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Revised Ending!

A week ago I told you about my little bluebird, the one who escaped the clutches of a snake, only to be used as a plaything by my boxer, Eva Jean. I had sadly placed his slobbery, limp, barely breathing little body in the nesting box after looking him over, thinking that the parents could find him and know that their job was done. Later, before finishing my post, I looked in the box once more and saw that he seemed to have died, as he was unresponsive and to my eyes was not breathing (even knowing that they sometimes play possum). As you know, I shed some tears!

Imagine my surprise when I opened the box the next morning and found this...

A wide-eyed baby bluebird, thinking I had come to give him some breakfast. I just about cried again! After ooohing and aaaahing for a few minutes and performing a soliloquy for him about how excited I was, I closed the door and hurried inside to the kitchen window. I watched for quite some time, but the parents were not coming...they were still in the yard, apparently looking for their baby. It was truly heartbreaking!

I opened the door of the birdhouse, hoping to get their attention and let them see that he had returned there, and within minutes they both appeared, then again and again over the next two and a half days. Sometimes they tried to coax him out, sometimes they fed him, sometimes they just kept vigil in the dogwood tree. I was on pins and needles wondering if all of his body parts were working - no broken wings or legs - and absolutely NOT allowing the dogs out the door except on leash!

I was ready with my camera at the kitchen window, and have probably a dozen starts and stops of his hesitation at the door of the nest. At dark on Tuesday night he still had not fledged, so I had to give it up. Wednesday morning was the same. Wednesday afternoon Garrett and I were walking Oliver and Charity around the yard, me knowing that the baby had been in his nest just a little while earlier, and he looked down under the maple tree where Oliver was sniffing, and saw this...
I don't know WHO was more excited, me or Garrett or the dogs wondering what was going on! After exclaiming over him for a minute, I ran to the house with the dogs and got my camera to get this photo before the parents had another nervous breakdown. They had been following our every move, and after all they had been thru they didn't need these big people messing with their kid! (I also checked the nesting box to make sure it was OUR bluebird!)

I don't actually know if this story has a happy ending. Thursday he was nowhere to be found, but the parents were keeping vigil and guard at one corner of the yard which borders on an overgrown lot, which borders on our green area. I couldn't tell if he was in or near our tree limb pile or on the other side of the fence. Friday they had moved further out into our neighbor's nicely mowed lawn that also borders on the green area. This is good news and bad news, as this area is shaded from our 100 degree week (with 107 degree heat index), but also home to the snakes.
But in my mind I'm calling it a happy ending. By some MIRACLE he survived his time in our little corner of the world. He survived the sparrows and mockingbirds, the wasps and suffocating heat, the snake, and the dogs. His parents were AWESOME, never giving up and battling all those demons to the best of their ability. Now he, and they, are off to the next stage of their lives. According to the book, they will feed the little guy for up to two weeks if he needs it, and then will possibly be a family group for a while until nesting begins again.

Now the question is: Do I leave the nesting box hanging on the deck, to possibly repeat this heartache and happiness again, or do I take it down? Hmmm....
(I uploaded several videos but blogger didn't show them in preview...now I know that they don't play until you've published! Gosh, it took me long enough to figure that out! It's a little boring, and I shot it thru the screen, and I forgot to zoom, but take my word for it that he was sticking his head out! In case you're like me and wondering how to start it, you just click in the middle. And did you now that if you click the little white square on the bottom right of the video screen it will go to full screen for better viewing? I just found that out!)

18 comments:

lakeviewer said...

My goodness, I'm at the edge of my chair, reading and hoping. Surely, it is not so hard for most of the birds, is it?

Jeanie said...

"I'm calling it a happy ending." I am with you on that. How amazing that he is still alive. If he made it through mockingbirds, snakes and dogs he is a survivor and will be just fine. I love that the parents were so vigilent.

Michele R said...

I was on the edge of my seat too! So much to be learned from this. The parents' instincts are amazing.

Mattenylou said...

I'm voting for the happy ending, too... and you may want to stop watching before something else heart-stopping happens!

What nature has going on when we're not looking... yeesh! It's a miracle any of these babes in the wild ever reach adulthood!

Jules said...

Cast another vote for "Happy Ending." I also vote for leaving the box so just like your bluebirds we can expect a return adventure. :)

Donna said...

Well, I LOVE happy endings and was amazed to see that the bird lived! You account was so much fun to read!! I have no vote about the box...just glad all ended well!!

yaya said...

I'm glad you had a happy ending! Now I wish I could say the same for the dumb Momma bunny who left her babies in my flower bed where the cat found them...akk! I found another one today alive under some flowers but I doubt that it will make it. Sometimes I could kick Mother Nature.

My Aimless Infatuation said...

I'm thinking it was a happy ending also. I know one thing for sure,if I were a bird planning on having babies,I would come to your house to do it. Your the best.

Bernie said...

I'm sure he survived sweetie, look what he lived through already.I love happy endings. It was nice to hear your voice on the video.
........:-) Hugs

Deb Shucka said...

A happy ending for sure. The picture of the baby in the grass is one of my favorites ever. I'd leave the nesting box up, even at the risk of heartache. I wonder what you'll do. :-)

Timoteo said...

You couldn't have INVENTED a better story than this! Great photos and video too.

kobico said...

Another vote for happy ending and keeping the box. I love your commentary on the video.

yaya said...

Linda, in answer to your question about making a blog book, I used cutest blog on the block and it was very easy. Blurb also can do a book...they download your entries any way you want and how much you want. I'm going year to year...I've thought of going 6mo. at a time because I'm blogging more...another way of saying I talk/write too much. Hard to believe I know..

ethelmaepotter! said...

Happy ending - YES!

My own bird story may be happy, too. The bird house that sat empty for so long is now inhabited. I have no idea what species is in it, but a small bird flew out of it last night when I got close to it.

Great picture, by the way, and congratulations on a job well done!

Oz Girl said...

Awww, I hope he made it! I read both your posts about the baby birds. It really is sad when things don't work out for baby animals. We have several barn swallow nests this year. One was in Stormy's shelter... I went out one morning a month ago to clean out her shelter, and there were the babies, scattered around the dirt floor. All 5 of them. :-( I'm not sure what happened, but I wondered if Stormy had kicked the side of her shelter, and that bounced them out of their nest, and then she inadvertently stepped on them. :-( So sad!!

On a lighter note, the mockingbird that has tormented our black cat Barack since last summer was found dead in our driveway yesterday. Well, at least I THINK it's the same mockingbird. We have several. One of them sings all night - and I know from my research it's a male looking for a mate.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

How much fun that was - to read the post of survival and to hear your voice. Most enjoyable.

Nezzy said...

What a sweet bluebird story. This Ozark farm chick has one of my own I posted last summer...and amazing story. Want to think your ended happily ever after too. I'd leave the box...they'll be back next year. Bluebirds tend to raise three broods a year.

I so enjoyed this sister!

From the happy hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa, ya'll have a wonderfully blessed weekend!!!

Bernie said...

Thinking of you a lot lately. How are you and where are you....Missing you and hoping all is okay......:-)Hugs