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A rarely empty nest. Daily story · 1 May, 2013
  • This is a recycled nest. It’s the third year we’ve watched it get renovated with fresh straw and grow wider in the pine bush next to the back porch. Its shell has survived vicious snowstorms, hurricanes, sweltering heat and squirrelly visitors.

    This year, robins are the owners, same as one year ago. The first spring we lived here, two lovely cardinals claimed it. We’ll never know if they were the birds that first made it. We always wonder.

    It’s an odd placement choice, being so close to humans, especially three small whirlwinds. We think it’s better, though, because we can protect the nest, just as the momma bird steadfastly protects her eggs, even when we are but two feet away eating our lunches or being generally rambunctious.

    Not six hours after taking this picture, another crisp, blue egg joined the others. The babies will rise in coming weeks. We’ll watch them grow, spilling over the sides of the nest almost comically as they await the food delivered constantly by their parents. One day a few weeks after hatching, when it seems they can’t get any fatter, we’ll watch them learn to fly, landing in neighboring bushes as they start and stop.

    And that day, the whole family will abandon the nest. It will wait all summer, fall and winter for a new family.
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