Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A sad, sad day................

NATURE can be cruel.  Very cruel

Yesterday, a perfect Spring day. The sun was shining, the freshly mown grass smelled sweet. The parent finches were flitting back and forth to the front porch bringing their babies delicacies from the garden. I balanced on my old wicker chair, holding the camera above the tangled vine, the heady fragrance lovely on the breeze, and was at last able to determine there were four tiny ones tucked into the nest and took the photo below.

This morning................the jasmine blossoms were scattered like confetti outside the front door. The vining tendrils hanging down in an untidy mess were still supporting the nest, tilted and empty! The parents kept flying back to the porch together, searching for their family, chirping noisily. Later when I cleaned up, I found nothing but some tiny pin feathers covered by the jasmine petals. The parents squawked at me from a tree as I took the nest away.......and I was heartbroken. 
What predator came in the dark of night, or early in the cool dawn today, causing havoc to this little family? We'll never know, however I'm almost certain it was another bird, maybe a neighborhood hawk, or an owl. I think there would have been more damage to the jasmine if a cat or raccoon had tried to climb the porch post. Hopefully the parents will move on.......perhaps there are still enough cool Spring days to start a new family in a safer place. It's been a sad day here at the cottage.

Since I removed the damaged nest and trimmed back the jasmine, the parents haven't returned to the porch.

So, now I just have the bluebird babies to worry about! They seem safe in the birdhouse - the parents are doing a great job rearing them. They squawk at me whenever I get too close so I still haven't seen the little ones but I think they should fledge soon.


  1. What a sad post, the babies look so cute in the photo too. Unfortunately this sort of thing happens a lot but usually we aren't so aware of it. Hopefully it's early enough for the two finches to start over and raise a second family.

  2. Oh dear... how sad... I know how much you enjoy taking care of you garden, and their little visitors. I'm sorry. Hopefully they'll start a new family soon! Love, Vanessa

  3. This IS a sad day. I have heard that blue jays also prey on baby birds. I did a stupid thing this weekend. I noticed a birds nest on my front porch (at the lake) on top of a light fixture. Thinking it was from last year, I took it down and was ready to toss it in a pile of leaves when I saw the babies inside, beaks wide open waiting for Mom and Pop. I quickly put it back but was so worried because the bottom was made of mud and adhered it to the fixture. I saw the mother (or father) sitting on the nest shortly after but still worried that it might blow down. I considered gluing it but decided I had messed up enough, in my own human way. I pray the nest is still there next weekend.


  4. How sad. It sounds like something David Attenborough should be filming. Sorry to hear of the death and destruction going on just outside your door.

  5. Oh that is so sad. Nature can be so cruel can't it.

  6. Nature can seem so cruel.
    Up here we see the ravens swooping around and we see the broken eggs on the ground. It's amazing that any birds at all mature to fly from the nest.

  7. So sad to read your little story. I hope the parent birds find somewhere else to nest and bring up a clutch of babies safely.

  8. Oh, my heart breaks for Mama and Papa and those sweet babies. Nature can be so cruel. Last summer, I was watching the robin babies, seeing one fall, watching a cat stalk them...I just wanted to protect them and had to finally turn away because I got consumed with worry. I know how you feel.


  9. That stinks, doesn't it. I'm sorry, Mary.

  10. I know how you feel about your babies. I sit and watch the comings and goings in the nesting box, where the great tits are. I hate it when I see a cat or squirrel in the garden. I am looking to see them fledge in the next few days. I wish I had a bird box with a fitted camera!!
    Jackie in Surrey, UK.

  11. How very, very sad Mary! I hate it when things like this happen! A neighbor cat who runs loose has killed two baby bunnies in our yard! It just tears you up!

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