A couple of robins have built a nest right outside one of our windows. We’ve got a great view of the nest, and we’ve been teaching the kids how to carefully watch the birds without alarming them.
Watching the birds has been very instructional and inspiring. There’s already a pretty little blue egg in the nest, and the two birds take turns watching over it. We almost never see them together. The bird that stays with the nest is always the perfect picture of patience and diligence, never moving, and always watching out for predators or for when the other bird returns.
But, we have noticed that the two birds aren’t exactly equally adept at parenting…
The mother bird really knows what’s important to her, and doesn’t waste time. The nest was build in just a couple of days, she laid her egg, and promptly began to take perfect care of it. Even when she’s settled into the nest, she’s always watching out, and has her beak raised just so, as if to say, “Don’t you dare mess with my family.” When she flies off, she’s never gone long, and when she returns, the settles back on the egg in no time flat.
The father bird isn’t around quite as much.
When the mother bird flies off, he just stands there, with this dopey stance, as if to say, “What does she expect me to do with that little blue thing?” The entire time she’s gone, the egg’s getting cold, not getting turned, and he’s just standing there, on the edge of the nest, looking around, wondering when he can fly off again, and get a few rounds of golf in with the boys. Oops, maybe I’m projecting a little too much there.