Notes from Candice Ransom

Robin Journal: May 9, 2014, Gone


They were fine yesterday, being fed, stirring in the nest.  But I noticed squirrel activity in our yard.  I went out and drove them off a few times.

This morning I sensed the silence.  Then I watched the nest, good long minutes.  No parent feed-relay.

I walked out just now to the shed.  Peeped over the ledge of the window box. And down into the nest.



I won’t show a photo of the empty nest because it’s too sad.  I’ll bring the nest in and save it.   Scott and Zelda are around.  She’ll rebuild in another site and they’ll try again.  These photos are from yesterday.

It could have been an owl, though I suspect squirrels.  They were in the trees around the shed when I checked the nest.  I look at them hard.  They just folded their paws and looked back at me.

11 thoughts on “Robin Journal: May 9, 2014, Gone”

    • I won’t ever think of squirrels the same way again. But they must be the culprit. We don’t have snakes. I would have heard an owl–they come in silently but leave the scene with their calls. Whatever it was, it was like the Lindbergh kidnapping.

  1. I am so sorry. I know that this is the way of nature, survival of the fittest, but I always root for the underdog. That babies grow to adults, whether birds or humans, is always a miracle. And miracles can happen every day. Maybe watching this little family work so patiently and diligently, and our response to their plight, is our miracle for today.

    • Yes, it’s eat or be eaten, and humans tend to assign human traits of remorse or sadness. The birds have moved on, already scouting a new nesting site. The squirrels are looking for something else to eat.

      I took the yellow tulips out and put in new flowers and removed the nest. I don’t think Zelda would try to use it again, but I want to make sure. It was always a dicey location.

    • I don’t much like nature either. Today I watched birds all over the place with their alarm calls, frantic, panicked flights. They have so much at stake and there are so many predators. That’s why they raise so many broods. It’s kind of a sucky system, isn’t it?

  2. Oh, the poor babies.
    I like watching nature docs. But I can’t handle watching the bit when an animal is on the hunt. I understand the predator’s need to eat and fee their young, but I also feel bad for the prey. I don’t know which animal I want to win out in those situations.

    • It’s hard because we know nature behaves this way. Also, we’re at the top of the food chain so we have the luxury of assigning our human values on situations. If we were the squirrel or crow (whatever robbed that nest), we wouldn’t think twice.

      Yesterday I heard robins making a terrible commotion in the trees above the nest site. I stood there until I saw two squirrels, apparently minding their own business. Or maybe not. Maybe my robins are still letting them know what they think and are warning other birds.

  3. My word!
    What a shocking series.

    But… somewhere… sad to say t his, but cute squirrel babies got et… by something wild out there too. It’s hard to bear witness to the actualities of Nature. Once time I petted a squirrel in its dying throes on my morning walk in our campus like neighborhood, a place of many grandmother oak trees and blooming magnolias & some thick forest patches. It had been hit by a car, was warm & on the way out of life… The photographs with the yellow tulips so brightly optimistic in your red windowbox are just heart-breaking. thankyou for sharing Candice.

    Jan “JG”


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