Thursday, May 15, 2008

A backyard visitor

A bird has built her nest on our back deck, underneath our patio table. She has ensconced herself right in the center of the table’s struts. “Smart bird,” my husband said when I pointed it out to him yesterday. “She’s sheltered from the rain.”

There are four Tiffany blue eggs in the nest, arranged in a perfect diamond pattern. We can’t figure out what kind of bird it is. At first I thought it was a robin, but the beak seems a bit too long and sharp. Whenever anyone steps out on the porch, the bird takes off. As long as we stay inside and peek through the sliding glass door, the bird feels safe. She looks very snug in her nest, on top of her babies.

“But how we can we move the nest?” Bean-girl asked. I’d been wondering the same thing.

“A bird isn’t supposed to build a nest there.” Bean-girl’s entire face creased in a frown of disapproving bafflement. “That’s weird.”

“You’re right, it is weird,” I agreed. “I think she thought that our table was a kind of tree.”

I told Bean-girl that the mommy bird was going to hatch eggs, and that she would get to see the baby birds. This briefly excited her.

“How long will it take?” she asked. “Two minutes?”

“I think it will take a lot longer than that,” I said.

“How many minutes?”

“Well, I think it will take a lot of minutes. Even many days.”

Bean-girl has pretty much lost interest in our visitor, although Bean-dad and I are very interested. Bean-dad did some Googling, and learned that a robin (if our visitor is a robin) incubates her eggs for two weeks, and that the baby birds stay in the nest for two weeks before taking off. So if the bird is a robin, I guess our back deck is off limits to us for about a month.


post-doc said...

I think it's lovely that you're letting the bird live in your table. My aunt and uncle had a nest in a hanging plant on their covered porch and I remember having to use the back door while the birds lived in the plant. Then we got lifted up to see the babies after they hatched - I still remember how wonderful that was. I hope Bean-girl enjoys them when (many minutes later) that happens.

CAE said...

I bet Bean-girl will pick up her interest again when the chirping of baby birds starts! We often used to have swallows or house martins nesting in our eaves, which was great. I never did see the babies take their first flights though, even though I looked out for it every summer!

TheMusingMommy said...

What a treat, and a great learning experience! Robin eggs are such a beautiful blue.


Mad Hatter said...

For several years in a row, a pair of bluejays had a nest in one of the trees in our backyard (I don't know if it was always the same pair of birds). They were fun to watch. But the best was the day we discovered a little rabbit's nest (a warren?) in our yard, with four tiny baby rabbits inside!

Life As I Know It said...

Oh, how fun! I bet your daughter will be interested again when the eggs hatch. Post some pictures!

Nicole said...

How fun! We have nests all over the place and I hear tiny chirps in every corner. It's getting so that I don't think I should be wondering the property anymore for fear of disturbing birdie homesteads.