Empty Nest Syndrome.
My babies left the nest this weekend (the last one within the past few hours or so). I already miss them. Still, watching them hatch and "grow up" over the last couple of weeks has really been cool. I hope that this second roll of pictures turn out halfway decently.
So I was out walking tonight, and on the sidewalk across the parking lot, I saw three kids squatting down looking at something. I smiled at them as I walked by (as I do every time I pass them on my walk-- they're Arab American kids, so because I've always been unsure of their English-speaking abilities, I've just been relying on non-verbal communication. As it turns out, their English is somewhat broken, but we're able to communicate), and they pointed at what had caught their attention.
I'll be damned if it wasn't one of my baby birds. I KNOW that it was. And it was just sitting there with a leaf on its back. ("It's the blanket," the older boy told me matter-of-factly. "Ah," I said, nodding. "Of course."). I don't think he was HURT, I just think that his flying skills aren't very good yet.
We talked about "my" baby birds. ("What color they are?" asked one of the little girls. I explained that they looked just like our little buddy on the sidewalk there, and I pointed out some of the colors--gray, black, white, brownish-orange.) I told them that I was pretty sure that this bird came out of the nest by balcony (I pointed it out across the parking lot), and together, their eyes wide and excited, we created our plan. (These children were just absolutely beautiful--big dark eyes, beautiful skin, glossy black hair.)
See, with all the dangers lurking about this complex, I couldn't just let my baby sit there. He wouldn't have lasted very long. If a cat didn't get him, I was afraid he'd hop his little ass back into the parking lot or something. So I picked him up, cradled him against my body and carried him back across the parking lot and upstairs to my apartment, where I gently placed him back into his nest. ("What are you doing??" I could hear him thinking. "It took me TWO DAYS to get that far!") I know that you aren't supposed to touch baby animals, as the human scent can cause the mother to reject them, but Mamma Bird had already left the nest earlier in the week. (Trust me, I've been anxiously watching for her--but she's gone. At one point, I told Jeff I was going out to buy some worms, to which he muttered something about "mental hospital" and "no insurance." I assume, though, that it's nature's way of prompting the babies to leave the nest and seek their own way. So hopefully, by touching him, I didn't do any damage.)
I left to finish the rest of my walk. I just got back and checked on him; he's on a branch right outside of the nest.
I know, I'm not right.