Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sylvia the Bird

Robins eggs are such a
lovely color.
I have noticed that when cynical and more-than-slightly jaded urban dwellers relocate their city tuchases to the country, an odd phenomena occurs: We go absolutely nutso-cuckoo-wigs-into-outer space over our new animal friends and neighbors.

And, no--I am not talking about that family a few roads down who never opens their blinds and are, therefore, most likely cooking meth in giant tubs in their living room. I refer to the actual members of the wild kingdom with whom we now share our lives.

I just saw a bunny.
Hold me.
Sightings of bunnies, gophers or deer will draw the whole family -- even the hardened criminals and Hell's Angels among us -- to the window to ooh and aah over the critters that prance, poop or hop across our yards.

And, no--I am not referring to Menudo. Yes, they pranced but they broke up decades ago and were never even into nature all that much, anyway. 

A rare sighting.

Even the nastiest teenagers are reduced to gurgling babies and will temporarily stop sext-ing to enjoy a backyard visit from a raccoon or  fox.

If you combine this hysteria with a primal longing for our own grown-and-flown offspring to return to the nest, you have a powerful combo...hence, our recent obsession with a bird we have named Sylvia.

Sylvia is a chubby young robin who built a nest directly under our deck and, quite literally, has taken the place of the heartless sons who no longer live here.

She is a smart girl since the location she's chosen is nicely hidden and, therefore -- if all goes well --  will be subjected to nothing more shocking than Seth scurrying naked into the hot tub every evening a little past sundown. If I can take it, so can she.

Sylvia apparently has already laid her eggs because she spends most of her day sitting in the nest. We spend most of our day admiring her.

And what's not to admire? Not only is she very pretty but she's stalwart and vigilant--leaving only to snack and briefly stretch her wings, impressing us no end by what appear to be 45 degree turns as she shifts her warmth to evenly incubate her eggs.

Seth and I comment happily to one another about her focus and determination as she stares straight ahead, clearly in some sort of DNA induced avian trance.

We were planning on power washing and restaining the deck this week in preparation for the season but now will wait, however long it takes, for Sylvia to not only hatch her babies but until they fly away to have families of their own.
The dreaded
empty nest.

I sincerely hope both Sylvia and I can endure it when they go.

I know I will relive the trauma of Tommy leaving home to become a hoodlum in the Bronx and how painful it was to deposit Charlie at college where he learned important lessons like how to smoke a hookah.

I may run after the little robins and implore them to stay, waving my arms and sobbing, just like I did when Tom and Charlie put me through this. Experience tells me that they will fly just like the boys, despite the tears and pleading.

Don't even think it,

Until then, Seth and I will continue to take turns sitting under the deck with a rifle pointed at that blue jay stronghold in the oak tree and police the grounds for rodents who may loiter below, hoping for a baby to tumble to the ground after an unsuccessful flight, God forbid. No one will dare mess with Sylvia while Seth and I are around.

Sleep well tonight, Sylvia, we've got your back.
Sylvia sitting in her nest beneath the deck.


  1. I used to live in NJ but now live in New Hampshire and feel the same about animal visitors. Nice blog.

  2. She does look very focused. She's so sweet.

  3. Hurray for Sylvia! Shes totally cute.

  4. There is nothing more wonderful than when a wild creature decides to trust you... a naked Seth would suffice... JUST! Lol
    All the Gods bless your little Sylvia, she will be better company than hookah smoking Brooklyn hoodlums... just saying XO

  5. We did the same with some cliff swallows who decided the side of my front porch was a cliff and build a nest. The mommy and daddy bird came back to build their nest on my porch every year for 5 years.
    I guess I did a good job of protecting them.

  6. She IS very good company, Janet. It's certainly true that when she's hungry, she doesn't ask for grilled cheese...she just hoped onto the grass and pecks for a bug! We sure do love that little feathered girl.

  7. Wow, Michelle, a repeat nester--how nice. I am told that robins like to nest near people and often do return the following year. I hope Sylvia comes back!

  8. Love the name. Sylvia really fits her.

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