Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Birds in their little nest agree...

Birds in their little nest agree; 
and 'Tis a shameful sight, 
when children of one family 
fall out, and chide, and fight.
~Isaac Watts

This was once a moralizing poem that parents used to admonish their children with to keep them from fighting.  Birds in their little nest agree, so why shouldn't we children?  There was a funny little story in the book Laddie by Gene Stratton-Porter which we just finished up about how when the teacher in the class asked the students to recite this poem, the main character, who tells the story, argued with the teacher because she just knew it wasn't true that little birds did not fight in their nests and people should not use this saying to convince children not to fight!  The teacher was quite angry with the girl for disagreeing with the poem and it was quite funny how the story played out.  You have to read it to see what I mean.  This book has to be on my list of top 3 books that I have read with the kids.  I almost wanted to read it straight through again right after we finished the last chapter, it was that good.

I was thinking of that poem though as Grace and I went to check on all "our" baby birds this morning to see how they were coming along.  I'm sorry to say that the baby robins have disappeared.  The robin built her nest in a not-so-safe location and a week after they were hatched they mysteriously vanished, succumbing to a deadly peril likely having to do with the felis silvestris catus species.

Thankfully we still have 3 more nests to watch, which are in much safer locations.  The bluejay has been the most watched since her nest is in a tree that the kids often climb.  She watches her babies very closely, but has not bothered us yet when we go look at the nest.

Aiden took this picture right after the first bird hatched.

A week later and this is what they look like:

 Somehow they look cute in a really ugly pathetic sort of way.  I know you probably don't agree, but you would have to see them in person to understand.  Christian used to not understand people who would ask the business to wait to trim their trees until after the spring when the baby birds had grown up.  He thought they were nuts.   That is until we had "our own" baby birds in our own trees.

The next nest is a nest of sparrows in the bluebird box that Naomi helped Christian build.  We were bummed that a bluebird didn't take up residence, but we are happy that it is at least being used, even though it is by a common sparrow.

 We think these are the cutest so far with their big yellow beaks.  Their nest also looks the most cozy.

The last nest being watched right now is a mockingbird nest in the rose bush.

It has been interesting watching how the different birds mother their babies and how they build their nests and where, and noticing the difference in the eggs and the hatchlings.  So far these little birds in their nests agree, so why shouldn't we??

If only it always looked so peaceful and serene as this.

Now back to telling "someone" to stop yelling at "someone else" to stop singing the same song over a million times and explaining to that "someone else" for the umpteenth time that they should consider doing to others as they would have done unto them. 
Birds in their little nest agree; and 'Tis a shameful sight, when children of one family fall out, and chide, and fight.   - See more at: http://quotationsbook.com/quote/6437/#sthash.ueZ45Mct.dpuf

 Birds in their little nest agree; and 'Tis a shameful sight, when children of one family fall out, and chide, and fight.   - See more at: http://quotationsbook.com/quote/6437/#sthash.ueZ45Mct.dpuf


  1. Maybe birds in their nest agree because they don't have sin natures! That probably helps anyway, but I have a hard time imagining that your little "birdies" are less than agreeable!

  2. Your photos are amazing! Sorry about the baby robins... :(

  3. What awesome pictures! Aiden got such a great shot of that "newborn" too! I like that poem and am going to start using it for sure, my kids thank you in advance :P

  4. Watch out for the mocking birds. We have seen them chase crows & blackbirds away from their nests. It is quite comical. The mocking bird flies right on top of the invading bird and pecks them on the head as they fly. We love to watch them. We have also seen them chase cats & dogs in the same manner. I felt so bad for the robins. But maybe they will learn to pick a different spot. We do not see a lot of robins here where we live. And since we no longer have chickens or cockatiels we do not see as many birds. We used to see lots of California blue jays. They are larger then the blue jays in the East. And I miss not seeing them but I do not miss the chickens. But I loved seeing all your pictures. They were quite stunning!! And the children seem to love them too. The picture of Christian and the children is absolutely awesome! Even if it was only a temporary moment of peace & quiet.

    1. Interesting about the mockingbirds! We will have to keep a close eye on them and see if we notice this behavior.

      It is sad about the robins, but we did find another nest already in a slightly safer spot than the first. I guess that is why robins have 2-3 broods per year and jays only one.

    2. These pictures are great! Amazing you have all that right in your backyard - how awesome!

    3. Thanks! It is amazing and we wonder to ourselves if they were there every year and we just never noticed them or if there is just an abundance of nests this year. It does make one wonder how many other things are out there that we aren't aware of. Once you do make a discovery though you wonder how you never noticed that thing before. One example is the praying mantis egg cases. Once we discovered what they looked like we began seeing them everywhere!


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