I thought we had bid a final farewell to the triplets; Winken, Blinken, and Nod, the baby robins who grew up before our eyes but I have an update. Three fledgling robins are handing out in our shade garden. Their flight is very limited but they are learning how to look for their own dinner. I thought they might be our triplets but wasn’t sure because our shade garden is a great sight for fledgling birds. Fresh water, enclosed space, lots of places to hide. But I was assured these are our babies when mom robin flew in with a mouthful of wormy goodness and all three ran to her. So I am happy to report they are alive and well. My camera is not great for long-range photos so I have enhanced them circling the little darlings so you can make them out.
So it has been a while since I updated you on the triplets. They have been growing sooo fast! Today is day 11 since they hatched and Winken, the biggest of the three (and also the hungriest) has shown his progeny – by flying! OK not very far but still only 11 days out of the egg! Here he is sitting proudly if not a little wobbly near the nest:
The others cannot be far behind! Here is a pic from yesterday with all three crowded in the nest. They are literally sitting on top of one another. Uncharacteristically, Winken is taking a nap (probably resting up for his solo flight today) and Blinken (left) and Nod, who is usually asleep are the ones crying for dinner.
Dad has really taken a disliking to me and is not above pulling my hair when I get too close. Here he is looking more disapproving than if I were a prom date with lip piercings and a tattoo!
I don’t mean to complain but…birds are slobs. “Attract birds to your backyard!” the gardening books say; “Provide moving water”, etc. So I did:
It has a small fountain of recirculating water, plenty of perches for thirsty birds, open space around the water, ground cover nearby, tall berry-producing shrubs and trees surrounding. Not to mention a 6-foot wooden fence. A regular bird eden! And it works like a charm. I regularly see 12-20 birds lined up on the rocks and nearby shrubs and on the ground coming to this choice watering hole. So what is my beef you ask? It’s this: birds are slobs. They poop everywhere, they foul the water, and well, they poop everywhere. So I cleaned out the fountain three days ago (for the third time in two months – and I mean drained the water, scrubbed the rocks, cleaned the pump, and re-filled the pond with clean water. Now I know this is a small pond but it is bigger than a bird bath, right? 3 Days! And this is what it looks like now:
And if you are wondering why the water is brown and what all those white dots are on the bottom – it’s poop. Now I am not a squimish gardener, I smush aphids with my bare hands, bravely dig out grubs and slugs (with gloves of course) and dirt and mud on my hands is not a problem. But this is a little much.
So you ask if I would put a pond in if I had to do it all over again? Of course! I love watching the birds take turns bathing and drinking, and the squirrels. This spring, my garden was full of robin, blue jay, cardinal, and martin fledglings all entrusted to this safe spot by busy bird parents while the babies worked out the whole flying thing. And – this is the real payoff – I have not been bitten by a mosquito in my yard even once this summer. And believe me, Texas mosquitos are brutal! So I guess I will continue to be the bird janitor and clean up after the little bird brains who don’t know a toilet from a drinking fountain and enjoy watching them from afar (far afar!). I just hope I don’t get the bird flu because the workers comp for this job is for the birds!