August 1st and 2nd:

I will try to show you the slice of life I saw being enacted at my front door. (No, I didn't watch them all day long, but I did keep checking on them.)

When I first looked out, Papa Robin was sitting on the post at the left side of our front steps. It was rare for me to see an adult bird there. 

Mama Robin was in the tree in front of our house. It's a bit blurry. I think she started to fly off as I snapped it. They were always moving for some reason or another. A person coming by, a car, a dog barking, a squirrel, any noise...

The two baby birds were in their nest above our front light. (Not a great picture because I was standing on the step stool, peering up at an angle, but you should be able to see two watchful little heads.)  

For two days, the adult birds took turns chirping quite loudly. The little ones were chirping, too, but it was more like plaintive cries while the parents chirps were demanding. This is what I thought they were saying: 

Papa bird: You will fly today. Really you will.
Baby birds: Not a chance.
Papa bird: You want to eat today?
Baby birds: You’re joking, right?
Mama bird: We’re not joking.
Baby birds: But we’re starving. You’re terrible parents!
Mama Bird: No, we aren’t. You’re too big to stay in the nest.
Baby birds: Please. If you feed us, we’ll be stronger.

The adult robins called and called for the baby birds to come to them, but to no avail. 

The next time I looked out, one of the adults was across the street, still chirping loudly. He or she slowly walked across the road toward our house and the nest, chirping the entire time.

Mama Bird coming up the steps, pleading. 

Papa Bird on the post where Mama Bird usually sat. 

Papa Bird not moving even though a person was coming toward our house. Very brave of Papa Robin to stand his ground, although he did fly off at the last minute, presumably as a distraction. No people were injured, although it's possible something white may have landed on the person's car.

Heart-broken Baby Bird is SO VERY HUNGRY. 

Papa Bird in the tree out front. I think he was holding a worm.

Baby Birds: We're going to die here unless you feed us! 

Mama Bird: Just jump out of the nest. I promise you'll be okay!

Baby Birds: You're so mean! We're starving to death. 

Mama Bird back on the post, and going up the handrail to get closer to the nest.  She chirped loudly ever few seconds. 

Eventually, the parents did feed both the baby birds because, of course, they needed the food to help them get stronger. But the way Mama Bird looked at me says it all. "I know I gave in. You have to once in a while. Do you think you could have done any better?"

It took whole two days for Papa and Mama Bird to convince the first baby bird (presumably the one that hatched first) to take a chance on leaping from the nest. My guess is that it flew out early in the morning of August 3rd, before I was up.

All I know for sure is that when I came downstairs that morning and looked out, only one baby bird was in the nest. One very stubborn baby bird. 

To Be Continued...

July 20, 2020

About the author 

N. J. Lindquist

N. J. Lindquist is the award-winning author of books, articles, short stories, and blog posts. She also edits and publishes the "Hot Apple Cider" anthologies. A former high school teacher, N. J. co-founded The Word Guild and teaches workshops for writers as well as speaking on various topics including creativity and leadership.

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