We first discovered the robin’s nest behind the light above our front door on May 5th.
On the morning of May 28th, I came downstairs and, as usual, went to check to see if the robin was on her nest before opening the door to get the newspaper. If the robin was there, I’d wait until I thought she was away so as not to disturb her.
I stood back toward the left side of our door (your right here) and looked through the window at the top of the door, through which I could usually, but not always, catch a glimpse of her head when she was on the nest just behind and above the light fixture you can see to your left of the door.
No sign of her.
I decided to open the door as slowly and quietly as possible, and grab the newspaper. But as I began to move, my eyes happened to take in the window on the left side of the door.
I stopped dead and looked closer.
During the summer, we have a plastic chair that sits in the corner. I’ve no idea why it’s there, because no one ever sits in it. But it’s useful for setting things on when you’re opening the door.
On the arm of the chair perched a bird. Not an adult robin, but a large fuzzy baby robin.
My first thought was to worry that maybe the baby bird had fallen out of the nest. That had always been my worry.
I stepped back to look up at the nest again. No sign of an adult robin, but I could never be 100% sure.
I moved to look out the window on that side of the door nearest to the nest.
I had never seen the robins on the ground before, but sure enough, mother robin was on the landing, only a few feet away from the baby. And she was looking right at me. I wondered how good their hearing is? It’s as if she knew when I was watching.
After a few minutes, I left them there and went to get breakfast.
A little while later, I came back and found the baby still on the chair and the mother bird on the post. I still wasn’t sure if the baby was okay. But as I watched, the baby flew to perch near its mother on the railing.
I sighed. All was apparently well in robinland.
A little while later, I came downstairs from my office and noticed that the baby robin had flown down to the walkway, off the steps. I decided it was safe to open the door a crack and grab the newspaper that was lying right next to it.
Both parents flew into the air shouting in bird language. The mother must have been on the nest and the father on our grass just out of sight.
The baby flew up, too, and all three perched in the trees in front of the house, both parents chattering away as if telling me what a clumsy oaf I was for disturbing them.
So much for thinking I could get the newspaper without disturbing them. But I did get the paper.
The rest of the day, I checked occasionally, and the three of them were still in the area, either on the lawn or in a tree. At one point, the baby flew up and perched right on the ledge of the middle living room window as the very moment I was looking out of it.
When I came down the stairs the following morning, my eyes, from habit, began to look up, preparing to check the nest for the mother bird. But something stopped me. On the narrow ledge of the window above the door was a dark silhouette.
I ran and got a stool so I could get a closer look. Yes, it was the baby bird.
Where was mom?
Where else? Sitting on the post she had flown to so many times after we’d disturbed her. The post from which she’d often looked me in the eye as if daring me to try something.
She was keeping watch, swiveling her head all around, making sure nothing was going to bother her baby.
I looked toward the trees. Yes, father bird was in the area, too.
Over the next hour or so, the baby bird stayed where it was, moving a few inches now and then.
At one point, I saw the mother robin in the nest.
But later on, I looked out, and they were gone.