29 May, 2017

Nature one, Human Zero

I'm a real softie when it comes to animals--well, except spiders and wasps, those I kill without a second thought.

I never thought being an animal lover was a problem until I bought a summer house in Vermont.  And now, I can't use my front door.

Over the winter, while the house was shut up tight, a robin moved in, building a nest in the front porch rafters.  I returned two weeks ago to find the nest and one very perturbed Mama Robin.  A couple of days later I discovered a smashed, bright blue egg shell on the porch and assumed some predator (racoon?) had enjoyed a midnight snack.  But Mama continued to flap frantically at me every time I opened the door or, worse, walked by.

Sure enough, three days later I spotted two tiny beaks poking out over the top of the nest.

Soft heart in overdrive, worry set in.  With Mama flying away every time I appeared, even at the front window, would the nestlings die?  Freeze at night when the Vermont temps drop into the 40s? Could I bear to have them die?

No, I couldn't.  I promptly named them--Simon and Schuster--and shut the door.  For now, it remains closed, the mud room off limits, and both the dog and I use only the back door in my office--the one down a set of stairs and clear the other side of the house--while Mama Robin happily feed her babies worms and other disgusting tidbits I can't (and don't wish to) identify.

Any one have any idea who long it takes baby robins to leave the nest?  I'd really like to use my front door again before I leave for the winter.