Monday, May 11, 2009

Avian Empty Nest Syndrome

For two years now Black Phoebes have been nesting on our front porch. They make a nest of mud up close to the ceiling and usually lay five eggs. In three weeks or so the naked little babies hatch out and beg for bugs, grow and grow, and poop ALL over the porch for another three weeks. Then the day arrives when they suddenly all fly away. We witnessed it last year and again this year on Mother's Day morning as we returned from our walk. The last one was fluttering around inside the porch as we stepped in, but it finally figured it out and took off with the others.
So now you might think the Mommy bird can rest a bit, maybe sit on this bench under the roses relaxing, maybe start a new hobby, volunteer at the hospital, finally learn how to play golf, or go back to school and get a degree.....but you'd be wrong.

Instead, she and the Daddy bird try to keep the kids together and safe and they continue to feed them. Yesterday at lunch the babies were in this Pittosporum bush and the parents were nearby, swooping down for bugs and feeding them to the kids. The parents' actions, and the soft cheep-cheep-cheeping from the bush alerted us to their presence. There are five babies in the bush. Can you see them? Hard to spot, aren't they?

I lightened the background so they'd stand out against the foliage. Now you can see them better.

So maybe Human and Avian Empty Nest Syndrome are more alike than we thought. Even though they've left the nest, you still provide for them, try to teach them how the world works, try to keep them safe from danger, and worry about them forever.

This is a Three or More Tuesday post. Please visit Tam at the Gypsy's Corner to see the other participants.


JC said...

Cool ... thanks ... I watch birds at my house too.

Mary said...

Thoughtful commentary and wonderful photos.

Denise said...

AWW! I have been watching a nest of baby robins. After they leave the nest I am going to post all of the pictures of them...eggs first!


Kim @ Manning Family Tree said...

Great post. I love, love, love the photo of the birdie on the bench with the roses in the background. That one is worth framing!!!

Lori E said...

Ah yes the parent/child continuum.
Once a parent always a parent. I like the way you changed the background to hightlight the birds.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Yes, the parallels are obvious! My son is flying the nest this weekend! Boohoo! I'll miss our late night conversations and his great grilled shiskabobs!

Blondie's Journal said...

Now Laura, you know this empty nest thing has been a real problem for me lately and you had to go and do a post like this. You could have taken it in any direction but you chose the empty nest route... Now you know the doves only lay two eggs, sit on them for weeks, feed them for about two minutes and then kick them out with no more than a "peck" on the cheek, never to see them again. These parents are mated for life and probably high"tail" it off to the Cayman Islands without a second thought of those chickadees! No empty nest syndrome for them! They are tough~like I am going to be this Fall! ;-)

Seriously, I am in awe of your birdwatching and photography skills and will have a great time visiting this summer! :-D


Anonymous said...

don't you love watching the whole experience? we have hummers. and finches. so fun! love your photos!!jkj

Neabear said...

How fun for you to watch the process from start to on-going, since it is not ending yet! Cool how you were able to lighten the background to see the birds better. I have had am empty nest for awhile now, and I still miss my kids so much. Especially since both live out of state. That empty nest syndrome does not go away fast as all. Not for me anyway.