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June 05, 2007

Not all babies are cute

Baby_birds_sm Yesterday, when I took Michael's picture (in the post below), he commented that there were babies in the nest on top of our wreath hanging on our door.  So, I held the camera up over my head and snapped a photo of the contents of the poop covered nest.  This is the only way we can see into the nest because it's up so high.  But let me back up a little bit before I continue my story:

Last March, I posted these pictures of our nest in the wreath on our front door.  We didn't use the front door for several weeks because we didn't want to risk having the frightened baby birds fly into our house if the door was opened.  The mother bird was VERY nervous and would fly out of the nest if anyone came within 20 feet of her.  After the eggs hatched, we heard the excited hungry chirps of the babies as their mother would return to feed them.  It was pretty nice and we didn't mind the inconvenience but we were eager to reclaim our front door usage privileges so I planned to take the nest down as soon as the little feathered family moved out.

But I didn't act fast enough because the nest was full of eggs almost immediately after the babies vacated.  Then I just couldn't bring myself to destroy it.

Now, back to the current babies.  So, I took the pictures and plugged it in the camera and watched the images appear on my computer.  I couldn't really tell what I was looking at so I zoomed in tighter to see the babies and what I saw was pretty horrible -- and sad.  I assumed they were long dead (probably the mother abandoned them and they died of starvation).  I felt really bad for them and worried that the mother bird might have been killed.  Anyway, I braced myself for the dreadful task of removing the nest from the wreath and disposing of the grim contents. 

Today, after the girls were down for their nap, I pulled on some rubber gloves and grabbed the step ladder and carried it around to the front door.  I climbed up a step or two to take a look with my own eyes (versus the camera lens) and worried that the sight would be hard to get out of my head later.  But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Well, to my surprise, the hideous little 'dead' babies were quite alive and well!  But still every bit as hideous.  I looked around for their momma and didn't spot her but I'm sure she was watching from a nearby tree and was eager to return to her brood.  Not all babies are cute but, if you're their Momma, they're absolutely beautiful!

(By the way, I wonder if the snake on the porch a few days ago was after this nest?)


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