Not Exactly the Life Lesson I was Hoping For


When I told you of the never ending science lessons going on at the circus this summer, I was excited about my children getting to watch the baby birds grow until they were old enough to fly from the nest.  We learned that Daddy Robins help Mommy’s feed their babies, as we saw both the Mom and Dad at the nest at the same time.  By day 3 we even started seeing their little beaks peak out over the top of the nest in our “Robin cam.”  I was surprised to see how often the Momma left the nest to find food for her little ones.  It seemed she would no sooner arrive at the nest and feed her little babes, that she was off again hunting for food. 


Sadly, on Thursday morning when I turned on the “Robin cam”  I didn’t see any activity in the nest.  Hoping the Momma had just left for awhile, I silently kept an eye on the camera as I went about tidying the house.  I never saw the Momma bird return to the nest.  I never saw the little beaks peaking over the top.  After a few hours with no signs of life, I called Scott to mention my suspicion. 

The kids hadn’t picked up on it and I hadn’t yet voiced my concerns. 

Scott had me go out with the mirror to check the nest. 

It was empty.

We were both so sad.  He said I could wait till he got home to tell the kids and I did.  I just knew he’d  be better at telling them than I would. 

Before they went to bed last night, we sat them down.  Scott carefully explained “the circle of life.”  He didn’t make what we suspect was a cat or raccoon out to be evil or bad, like I am sure I would have done.

My son took it the hardest, as I suspected he would.  We were all looking forward to watching them grow and learn to fly.

This was def not the lesson I was excited to teach them this summer.  But, it seems it was the lesson they were meant to be taught.  I do hope we have the opportunity of watching baby birds grow again in our yard, next time hoping they make it till they can safely fly away on their own. 


  1. Actually, the learning to fly part is VERY short. We had the same thing; expecting to see the trial and error of fledglings learning to fly. However, robins do this at night, and once it's done, it's done and they do not come back. It was sad for us, as we crave closure; but, as long as that pic was not the last thing you saw, it's safe to assume they are all safe and flying around.

  2. I am tearing up. :( Not sure why I'm more sad: the thought of the babies getting eaten alive, the thought of the mama watching it happen from afar or coming back with food only to discover her babies were gone, or the thought of your son so very disappointed and sad (as I'm sure mine would be).

  3. Jeremy, this was the last pic we saw... they were only 3 days old so I don't think they flew off quite yet, they didn't have their feathers yet.

    But, I didn't know this about them learning to fly at night... thanks for that tid bit for the future!

  4. I know how upsetting that is.. sorry the kids didn't get to see them develope and fly away. We had trouble with the same thing in our back yard,, so Uncle Ron set my bird houses, (gazebos) hanging in the front of the house off the porch. The animals from below can not reach them. I could see out our dining room window and watch them grow. It was really neat to watch them walk around the nest and just teeter on the edge ,,you know they were thinking, "should I go or not"
    Maybe next season you could make a safe haven bird nest and someone will choose to occupy it. We have a set of Dove's and Robins, and baby finches in ours. Better luck next time. Love you.

  5. noooooo! such a sad post! i'm so sorry for the kiddos. knowing them, it must have been hard news. i wish i could hug them right now...

  6. If they wanted to, you could have a a memorial service. Just a thought.

  7. Aww! How heartbreaking! How did they do?


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