Early in June in 2003, while watering the roses in the front garden, I noticed some movement by the water faucet. I looked down and there was a baby bird hidden in the overgrown grass. Then, I caught more movement to my right, and sure enough, there was another baby bird! Worried about the many cats in the 'hood, I scooped up the one that was headed toward the driveway. In the Sycamore tree over head were two full-grown birds watching me and making enough noise to let me know that they were the parents. Charlie came home and he noticed the remains of a mud nest high in the eaves by Whitney's bedroom window. Obviously, this is where these little guys started! What a fall, I mused.
We put a small terra cotta pot on its side next to the faucet. I put some lint from the dryer inside to make it cozy and then we rounded up the baby birds for the night. We looked up the parents in our bird book and decided that they were Black Phoebes.
Over the next few days, the baby birds became quite brave. The morning after we had found them, they had moved to a spot under the garden bench. Periodically, we would go out on the porch to check on them. They were always somewhere else! The following morning, I went out to fill the little fountain and accidentally kicked on to the log shells and out popped the baby birds! "Sorry, sorry, sorry!" I said. They had stayed in the hollow overnight.
The next afternoon I peeked out and couldn't see the birds. I walked very carefully across the yard (there was a lot of tall grass) to see if I could find them. Sure enough! Under the old wagon sat the pair, watching me!
It was mid-afternoon the next day when I came out to see if I could find them again...and I was having no luck. I went to the driveway and turned back towards the house, and there, on the lip of the porch, sat one of the babies...just scouting out the situation.
The other one was nowhere to be found. I went back inside and returned later to discover the bird had left the porch and relocated to the arm of the garden bench.
Still no sibling was seen. Throughout the afternoon, I would return to the porch with my camera to check on the status of the babies. Every time I returned, they were in a different location. They were so cute! I ventured out into the yard and finally located baby #2 sitting on the log shell by the fountain. Back up on the porch, I watched them sit (kind of like watching paint dry). And then, suddenly...without warning, the baby on the garden bench took off for a short, awkward flight and landed in the little tree about ten feet away. Whew! He made it! It was so fun watching them make their progress. But, it was kind of sad, too, because I knew it wouldn't be long before they would be ready to move on.