Robinettes

The bluejays lose out to their redbreasted cousins

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robinette-feature

[dropcap]Holy cow![/dropcap]The bluejays lost!

Even holier cow! There are baby birds on the porch light!

Every year the Steller* and Scrub jays duke it out to determine ownership of my back porch light. Their battles are fierce, blue bullets cartwheeling all over the deck, feathers flying. They’re disputing porch light ownership, and usually the Stellers win.

robinette-porchlightI have no bloody idea why ANY bird would want to nest on that light (left). For one thing, it’s merely two swivel-spots on a wall-mounted socket, devoid of nesting areas. For another, it’s next to the back door and about as private and secure as a bathtub in Times Square.

But the jays seem to love it, and for the last ten years they’ve been warring for possession. Each year, the victorious parents place twig after twig on that light, only to watch them fall to the deck below.

They give up after the deck’s knee-deep in kindling.

It’s become a bit of an institution–feathers and twigs on the deck every spring. Doesn’t say much for the bluejay learning quotient, though.

Lola and Nikki haven’t been interested; it’s as if they know there’s not much point in watching feathery birdbrains trying to construct a nest in the middle of nowhere.

robinette-standoffCouple of weeks ago, though, that changed. Lola and Nikki took a strange new interest in the back deck. I was puzzling that out when my friend Tami nodded at the bird sitting on the deckrail.

“Mama Bird with food for the kids,” she explained. I peered up and saw…The Nest.

“Whoa!” I grinned, “The jays finally did it!”

“Uhm, look again,” she advised, “Those are ROBINS, Cynthia.** You’ve got a robin’s nest up there and I’ll bet it’s got babies.”

I doubted that; no bird in its right mind would actually have BABIES that close to people and cats, right?

Lola leapt to the top of the screen and hung there, trying to engineer a quick trip out for robinette tartare.

That settled it: Baby birds.

“Lola!” I warned, and she dropped to the floor, exasperated. Both cats have been standing sentinel under that nest ever since. I don’t dare open the door; they’d be into that nest in a nanosecond.

robinettes-babiesSo, apparently, robins are smarter than bluejays, or at least better at architecture. There is unmistakably a nest on my back porch and, equally unmistakably, it’s full of baby robins. Mom and Dad have been busily stuffing worms and berries and heaven only knows into those wide, gaping maws.

From what I can tell, a baby robin is pretty much all mouth, and about as far away from Tweety-bird cute as you can get. They have bulgy, staring eyes and an irritated chirp, about like a hipster complaining of lousy service.

Looking at these guys, I can see why they say birds are the last remnants of dinosaurs and I’m shudderingly glad they’re no longer bus-sized. These are MESSY dinosaurs–my newly painted back porch will need at least three passes with the pressure washer to eliminate the bird poop.

I haven’t said, “Awwwwwwwwwwwwww,” even once.

——————–

*Yup, it’s really spelled “Steller.”

**Aside from being able to tell a bald eagle from an ostrich, and Stellers from Scrubs, my bird knowledge pretty much ends with “has feathers and a beak. Must be a bird.” I’ve been known to mistake a chicken for a hawk.

2015-11-07T16:20:15+00:00

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