Father's Day - Just relaxing in the backyard, when we heard a commotion coming from the next door neighbor's yard, and the sounds of birds chirping and cheeping.
My husband went to investigate and discovered that a baby robin had a very unsuccessful flying lesson. The baby bird's left leg was caught and pinched in one of our neighbor's lawn decorations. The poor little thing was hanging upside down - beak open, panting and trembling. Another neighbor's little black dog was barking and dancing around the victim. Several fully-grown robins were circling overhead and shrieking.
My brave husband risked getting bitten and pecked. He untangled the bird's leg and brought it over to our yard to get it away from the dog.
We tried to feed the birdie a little bread mushed up with water, but it wanted nothing to do with us. He just sat there trembling, with his eyes closed, wings half spread.
After an hour or so, my husband observed,
"Look, the mother bird is sitting in that tree, with a worm hanging from her beak."
And sure enough, she was. The mother bird circled many times, trying to see if it was safe to land or not. Eventually, she did land next to her baby. The adult bird dangled the worm in front of the baby, but the baby seemed to have no interest. She hopped away slowly, trying to get the baby to follow. No luck. Finally, the mother bird hopped up to the baby, whacked it several times on top of the head until the baby tipped its head up with an open beak. The mom then dropped the worm in the baby's mouth and flew away.
The mother bird returned in about a half hour with a fresh worm and repeated the feeding process. This time the baby was much more alert and interested. It even cheeped softly a few times.
I waited a few minutes to allow for the worm to be digested and decided to scoop up our little rescued birdie and put it in a more open area just in case it wanted to try to fly again. As I picked the baby bird up, he started a horrendously loud panicked cheeping. That alerted not only the mom robin, but also what seemed to be every other robin in the neighborhood. I had about ten adult robins swooping at me, chirping and shrieking. What a family! How amazing that they were trying to protect one of their own!
I placed the baby bird in a shaded, grassy spot and walked away as quickly as possible. We checked the spot a few hours later - he was gone!
Photo: Julie Corsi