The Daily Bucket–Did Feng Shui Save the Fledglings?

My prodigal son and his advanced science teaching degree came home awhile ago.  While schools are closed, He’d been hiking in the Rockies.  His discoveries included a pocket full of cool sparkly rocks and crystals, and some Eastern philosophy.

“Hang up these chimes here, “he said when we were out bonding with some herb in the back yard, “the wood and metal match the wrought iron and grape vines.  The Chimes will block bad energy and lure good energy.”  He reached up high and fastened the chimes on the metal trellis, surrounded by grape vines.  Then he left.

Yeh, yeh, yeh Feng whatever. 

the chimes were very pretty, even if the “science” is bunk.

And then the robins nested in the same grape vine thicket, on top of the trellis.

  

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Note how the robin incorporated thick living vines into the nest.

But as some of us know, robin eggs and fledglings are among the Cheese Puffs of the world, with crows, snakes, and many other birds and small mammals anxious for a taste.

I tried to spend more time in the yard, hoping my mere presence would help protect the robins.  One windless morning, I was replanting ground cover in the Frog Mitigation Area,  when I heard crazy banging and ringing chimes.

I walked quickly over to see what caused the commotion.

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The invasive squirrel had tried a backdoor attack on the robin’s nest, but their leap onto the grapevines set off the chimes and the robins flocked to attack the squirrel (not shown, laughed too hard to take pictures, yet again). 
Several dogs have texted, begging for pictures of squirrels getting their comeuppance.

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The attack was thwarted, and least two fledglings have survived, thanks in part to Feng Shui and the chimes.

I’ve taken down the empty nest now, pausing to admire its elegant and powerful construction. Impossibly strong on the outside, with tightly coiled grape vines, then mudded tight, and finally lined with soft grass. Calcium depleted Mom robin probably ate all the eggshells.

I see the new Robin family of four, now at dusk. They hunt worms in their allotted Parcel, under the Rhodies, where I water, and the worms rise. They rustle the leaves when I approach. I hear their wings whisper. 

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) typically has a 12-14 day incubation period, and a 13 day nesting period (Cornell).  I observed  a 14 day incubation period and a 10 day nesting period before fledging.

With the nest gone, I trim the rampant grape, wash away the robin marks, and bless the site with some roses. 

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The robinless trellis with a hair cut. I still won’t risk the good cushions.

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Blessing the nest site with the last roses of the season.

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Grape vines coiled around the nest.

Thanks for reading the Daily Bucket.

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Now it’s your turn!  What have you noted in your area or travels? Any pretty birds in your yard? Please post your observations and general location in your comments. I’ll check back later.

/s/ Redwoodman