One more chance-Backyard bird adventure: BWPC

So, the other day I heard a loud “chirp, chirp” call outside my house. I peered out the back door and spotted a baby American Robin in the middle of the yard. Maybe it was the same one we put back in its nest several days before, giving it one more chance at life.

When I approached, the young bird walked underneath some cactus in my garden. Meanwhile, both parents continued chirping loudly.

Oh no!

A movement nearby caught my eye. A Red-tailed Hawk lurked in the background, watching the fledgling. No wonder the parents of the baby robin were upset!

I tried to catch the young robin, but it flew. Not well, but I was pleased to see it could now fly. The bird settled in the gravel and rocks, right under my High Desert mural painting. Maybe it wanted to be a character in one of my stories. 😉

Read more: One more chance-Backyard bird adventure: BWPC

Oh no again!

I headed back towards my house when, whoosh! A Cooper’s Hawk flew towards the baby robin.

“No!” I said out loud. The Cooper’s Hawk veered in another direction. I often see this hawk in my yard. Here it is taking a bath in our water feature.

Meanwhile, the Red-tailed Hawk flew to another tree, followed by the robin pair. They harassed the large hawk, so it moved to yet another tree.

Something landed in that tree above the Red-tailed Hawk. The Cooper’s Hawk! Now the smaller hawk was harassing the red tail.

The young robin stayed put, but it was in a vulnerable, unprotected location and I was concerned for its safety. Our dogs, or the many free-roaming cats in the neighborhood, might attack the bird there.

One more chance

This baby bird deserved one more chance, I decided. I scooped up the bird, intending to place it inside a dense shrub.

As part of its protest at being moved, the robin pooped. I was wearing slip-on shoes and the poop splattered onto one of my shoes and my bare ankle. The robin squawked in its loudest voice.

Undeterred by its verbal and physical protestations, I kicked off the poopy shoe and settled the baby robin deep inside a cinquefoil shrub. A spiky-leaved Oregon grape shrub growing nearby offered added protection. The parent birds perched anxiously nearby.

Should I have taken this bird to an animal rescue organization? No, they get too many fledglings from well-intentioned people in the spring. This young bird can fly and may be safer out of its nest at this stage. Predators are more likely to prey on nests the longer they’re occupied.

I moved this bird back into its nest several days before when the nestling was blind and flightless. Was that okay? Since I touched the young bird, won’t the adult birds abandon their baby? It’s okay to put recently hatched nestlings back into nests. No, your scent won’t keep the young bird’s parents away. Most birds don’t have a highly developed sense of smell.

When You Should–and Should Not–Rescue Baby Birds gives more information on this topic.

The pair of robins chirped nonstop after I moved their fledgling, but quieted as the time passed. I hope that meant they found the young bird.

Will this baby robin survive? I don’t know. Though I helped, Mother Nature will make the final decision

Bird Weekly Photo Challenge – Common birds in your area seen this time of the year

27 thoughts on “One more chance-Backyard bird adventure: BWPC

  1. With hope for the baby, empathy for the parents and awe for the hawks, I have nothing but love for this post. It took trying to get help for a rescued starling to help me learn the do’s and don’t’s of such things. Hope this one survives ♡

    • Thanks so much, Bonnie Rae! It was an exciting day in my yard. Hope the starling, and the baby robin, survive but many young birds perish. It’s one reason why they lay so many eggs.

      • I rescued a fallen starling from a nest built in a gutter over a busy strip mall. There were two young boys poking it as two parents laughed and took pictures. Good god. People. Sigh.

        No one would/could help with this bird because it was considered a “nuisance bird”. I rather think the “nuisance” problem was two oblivious parents and two reckless young boys.

      • Sorry this family thought the bird should not exist. 😔 Thanks for rescuing the starling!

  2. Wow, what drama in your backyard! I do hope the young robin survives. You have done your best to help but as you say, nature will decide. And after all, hawks are birds too and need to eat – that’s the way of things.

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  4. this was such a Nice adventure and your heart fro helping the little bird is beautiful – and I like how you said that now the fate is in Nature’s hands.
    The photos you shared were great and led us through the avian adventure

  5. Ironic. For the first time I caught sight of a sparrow hawk tearing apart a pigeon next to our local bird water dish. These bird-of-prey events happen about 4 times a year just outside our kitchen window– most of the time only a pile of feathers being the final evidence of the “crime.” I may put the recent pic in my next posting.

    • Cool! It’s exciting to see nature in action, Art! I’ve seen our Cooper’s hawk take a Ring-necked Dove in a flash. They are quick!

  6. They are luck to have you around. I hope these little birds will make it!
    What a wonderful story to share with us. I love these photo captures.

  7. Hoping the fledgling survived but you are right. Mother nature will make the final decision. You can feel good that you tried and did all the right things. I’ve been in the same situation many times. Most of the time we take them to the animal shelter but if they can fly, then we do what you did. Put them in a safe area under cover. Great story and certainly relevant to this time of year. I couldn’t help but snicker at the poop on the foot. Been there, done that! 🙂

    • Yes, I did what I could — even though the fledgling “marked” me. 😄 I’m hearing of fledglings leaving the nest earlier this year due to the extreme heat. Hope I don’t find any more fledglings on the ground!

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