Little did I know that the light blue robin’s egg I found under my magnolia tree would be a foreshadower. If the act of picking up the egg was on a movie screen, then moody music would be playing while I examined the tiny crack in the shell.
The next morning after a torrential downpour at night, I spotted a nest under the magnolia tree. Upon picking up the nest, I discovered three altricial robin nestlings; they had no feathers, their eyes weren’t open yet and they couldn’t make sounds—but they were still alive. I gingerly placed them back in their nest but figuring out how to put them back in their tree became the top thing on my list of things to do. (It’s a misnomer that parent birds won’t come back if their chicks are touched by humans.) Maybe because the three helpless nestlings reminded me of my newborn triplets, or maybe because my triplets are about to leave our nest, or maybe just because I love animals, I climbed up a ladder and strung a hanging planter containing the nest in the tree.
The Raptor Trust, a wild bird rehabilitation center, suggested getting the nest as high as possible and watching to see if the mommy robin returned. She didn’t. The next morning, only two baby birds were alive and I was off to The Raptor Trust, where they would get warmed up, fed and taken care of until they were able to fly. As I got in my car to leave, it struck me how I have warmed up, fed and taken care of my babies and they are almost ready to fly. My three nestlings are about to graduate high school and will start college in the fall.
I just don’t know if I’m ready to say goodbye.