On June 1st our tree service arrived to remove three dead trees from our front yard, and five dead pine trees along the driveway. The willow tree didn’t have much time left and our Pink Flowering Dogwood just didn’t make it through the drought of last summer. Reluctantly, we decided to cut them down. Worried that our birds would have less perching possibilties, we felt the many trees in the woods surrounding our home on three sides would still give them plenty of landing and nesting sites.
Our American Robin family was nesting along side our driveway in a dense forsythia shrub. I was allowed to get fairly close in order to document their growth. On the day of the tree removal I estimated them to be about 11 or 12 days old. Since we had no intention of disturbing the shrubs, I was hopeful they would remain in the nest.
Of course, I forgot that a chipper would accompany the sawing, causing some very loud noise. When I went to check on the nestlings, I found an empty nest. Not sure they were actually ready to fledge, my motherly instincts took over and I felt ill. One of the men came over to take a look and actually spotted one of the chicks on a nearby branch. I chose to believe they all made it out and continued their growing on the ground until their flight feathers grew, allowing them to fly a number of days later.
Having no proof or sightings, I feared the worse…until today, ten days later, when one of the adult Robins and two of the juveniles showed up on our lawn, not far from their nest. I managed to get a few photos and also saw them later in the day on the opposite side of the yard, under the newly pruned forsythia. When they saw me approach they all flew into the woods.
I am hoping the other two nestlings were out and about with the other parent. Until I actually see all four, I will just imagine they are well and happy doing what Robins do!
On a positive note, the tree service found three more nests, unoccupied, in the forsythia that was pruned, and were careful not to disturb them. There may have been a better time to address my dead tree problems, but scheduling is tight and I knew the downed trees held no nests. Some part of me still regrets causing the Robins to flee. The Black-capped Chickadees that nested in a camper birdhouse on our front porch had no problems with the events of the day. They continued to feed their chicks and I am happy to report the nestlings have fledged. Unfortunately, I missed their big moment. It was enjoyable to watch the Chickadee parents feed their chicks, non-stop, for many days. The quiet peeps turned into almost recognizable Chickadee songs. I love Spring.