Sunday, 17 May 2015

Repeating mistakes, expecting different results

We pleaded using our best 'Robinese' but, they ignored us. We told them that ravenous creatures roamed late at night but, they told us they could handle it. We shared stories of previous squatters who boldly claimed the right to nest only to leave on a wing and a prayer - sans fledglings. Year...after year...after year.

You see, we have a covered porch that wraps around most of our house; and many of God's creatures, (some wanted, but many of them unwanted), share living and breathing space with us rent free. Some of our tenants, like our robin friends, have attempted to start a family in the rafters above a certain light fixture under our porch's roof. I guess the warmth and light create an ambience similar to a fireplace in a log cabin conducive to...oh, where was I? Back to the robins. We've never attempted to remove or discourage nest building activity because it usually happens in the span of what feels like "Hey, where'd that come from?" or so. And, more than that, have you ever studied how intricately built a bird's nest is? However, for all their ingenuity and craftiness, they really don't behave wisely or rationally.

I don't know if they are the same robins year after year, but today we witnessed the calamity all over again. The robins had spent the last few days building a nest, slightly to the left of last year's settlement; Mrs. Robin had laid her eggs and had started her 12 - 14 day staring competition with our straw filled scarecrow. Day 1 hadn't even concluded and her progeny fell to the paws of a ruthless, but I can only assume, hungry raccoon. Although, skunks are known to prey on bird eggs, too. Judging by the sort of 'nature' left behind, I'm going with a raccoon!

It's puzzling. Each year, the same scene happens over and over...like Groundhog Day with Bill Murray...but, this one never ends well - save for one mating season a few springs ago. Wouldn't it make sense if the local robin community banded together and taught each other about the perils of starting a family under the Vanderlaan porch - cozy and inviting as it might seem? If only last year's unsuccessful pairing could fly by and chirp, "Hey, we've flown a mile in your talons. We have a much better spot than that poor excuse for a bird house." Nope. Instead, this year's lovebirds thought, (and I use the term 'thought' loosely), this is the year that will be different only to fly away as empty nesters for all the wrong reasons yet again.

And, really, what am I thinking? They're birds!! I mean, if they were rational, and understood predator behavior, they wouldn't make the same mistake, ignore sage advice, or loving help from those who've been there, done that, and got the T-shirt.

So, for the purpose of this blog and really not for the benefit of robins who may or may not be able to read: to all those whose 'nest' is built on vulnerable perches, know that you're not alone. You're not the first person to build a nest where predators prowl. There is hope. More than that, there is help to rebuild.

When you're ready to fly, you won't be alone. Soar like an eagle, my friend, soar!

A stumble, a tear and a rainbow

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