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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Empty Nest

I've been keeping a close eye on the baby wrens in the nest on our covered patio and watching Momma Wren come and go tirelessly, finding insects around the garden, and the thicket next door to feed them.

I like to sit on the patio with my morning coffee on the weekends and I had got used to hearing a soft thump as she landed back on the rim of the container the nest is in. For the first time, I started hearing the babies peeping every time she came back to the nest, clamoring for attention.

I took a peek at them. There were four (I had previously thought there were three of them) and they all looked fully alert and were starting to stretch their wings.


So yesterday I had scheduled a day off work, to use up some vacation time, and was sitting with my morning coffee when I was startled by a whir and a thud behind me, over in the corner where the nest is.

I turned around to see what was happening and ... Lo and Behold... the first baby had ventured from the nest!



So of course I spent the next couple of hours crazily snapping pics and taking video till my camera batteries gave out!  


It was quite nerve wracking watching them trying out their wings. The nest is on the top shelf and of course, they all launched themselves into space and then fluttered to the ground.


But they gradually got the hang of it and fluttered back up again, one shelf at a time. 





 Throughout all this activity, the Momma Wren was giving encouragement, as well as nourishment. In fact, even when they were all out of the nest, she went back to it several times with a juicy insect, just to make sure no one was left behind.

After a couple of hours (maybe more, I'm not sure, I completely lost track of the time) one by one, they launched themselves across the lawn to the shrubs at the back of the garden.


That seemed to wear them out a bit and for a while two of them sat in the crepe myrtle and two sat in the butterfly bush, resting.  Momma Wren didn't like me poking around the shrubs trying to get a photo, so I went back to the patio and left them to it.  I could still hear them peeping though.


But eventually they moved on.  I went over to check on them one last time and they were nowhere to be seen or heard.  Momma Wren wasn't hanging about either, so I assume she took them over the fence to the thicket next door.

I wish them the best and hope to see them again.  Who knows, maybe one of them will choose to raise their own family on our patio.


But for now, I kind of feel like a mother whose kid has gone off to college.



Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.

5 comments:

leavesnbloom said...

ahhh what a great day to spend off work. Birds can pick the oddest of places to build their nests but at least you had a "birds eye view" of all the happenings. Great captures of the little fledglings Jayne.

KK said...

Hi Jayne... I was googling Carolina Wrens and I saw your Empty Nest post and just had to comment. I really enjoyed reading about about your little wrens. I also had a family of Carolina Wrens and posted about the babies on my blog. (they flew Wednesday). After reading your story, I see that I left so many details out of my post. Like yours, my momma bird also kept coming back in with insects and looking around the nest for her babies. I was confused at first because it looked like when she would see them, she would then fly away. (now I understand she was trying to teach them.) I also left out the part that it seemed so loud. Like other birds in the yard were helping call the babies out. On my very shaky video I see mom and dad flying back and forth in and out. After the babies left the porch finally, the mom would fly to the top of the lamp post and call them loudly. Then finally, it was quiet. I see she really had it in control but I felt like it was pandamonium there for a bit. I did get the babies first flight (through a glass door) on video. It was amazing. I understand your empty nest syndrome. I watched this from stick one. You can see my birdies at my blog if you like. http://itskksplace.blogspot.com/

And I love your gardens. Your flowers are beautiful. I also love gardening (newbie of 3 years). Thank you for the sweet wren post. Now I know someone else really understands the joy I received from The Wren Family.

Sincerely,
KK

Jayne said...

Hi KK, thanks for commenting on my post. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was an amazing experience, and it sounds like you experienced the same thing in your garden. I hope your wrens come back to nest again next yet.I'm off to visit your blog now.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

What sweeties!

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

Ahh, this is SO sweet;-) I'm glad you got to experience and witness their 'leaving the nest'...that's something I didn't get to see when my wren's left their nest outside my kitchen window. I couldn't believe they flew away and left the area so quickly and I didn't get to say goodbye;~} It sounds like it was pleasant and enjoyable for you. Nature never ceases to amaze and amuse us, does it?! Thanks for sharing.