You Can Find Adventure In Your Own Back Yard. This Adventure Began In A Window Well.

Found: Baby Robin in distress. Credit: Harriet Wallis

[Author’s note: I’m stuck at home with an arm in a cast. Can’t drive. Can’t hike. Can’t, can’t, can’t. The baby robin tale is a good reminder that adventure and joy can be right at home.]

Laurie called to me: “A baby bird has fallen down into the window well.”

A little robin sat as still as a stone. His little beak pressing against the glass, and his eyes looking in. He couldn’t fly out with his stubby little wings, and his mom couldn’t get down into the narrow space to feed him. There was no other choice. The little fledgling had to be rescued.

Laurie climbed into the window well, put the little fluff into a bucket, and lifted him out. But then what? He was limp and weak. His one foot curled uselessly under him. How long was he in the window well? How long since he’d been fed? Instinctively he opened his mouth wide.

When I was a child, I raised a baby robin by feeding it worms. My dad and I would go into the back yard after dark and get onto our hands and knees. We’d shine a flashlight onto the grass and spot the night crawlers coming up out of the soil. We’d catch them as food for my little robin.

Worms. Robins eat worms. We have a box of fishing worms stored in the refrigerator. Laurie put a fat worm onto a paper plate and cut it into bite size pieces with an old knife.

The little mouth opened wide and she dropped a piece in. Gulp. Down it went. Then his little mouth opened wide again. Repeat. Repeat. He consumed the whole worm.

We got on the internet and read up on what to do with a fledgling bird. We were relieved to find that birds have a poor sense of smell, and handling the baby would not cause his mother to abandon him. And we learned what to do.

The next step: Build a temporary nest for him from a little box and shredded paper towels. We put the worm-fed baby robin into the temporary nest, and put the nest on a stool beneath the tree where he was born. We hoped his mom would find him.

The passive, weak little robin came to life. Did the good meal revive him? He jumped from his cushy nest onto the edge of the box and called loudly: Mom! Mom! Mom!

Adult robins flew in with bugs in their beaks to feed their fledglings on the ground. But they ignored him. He wasn’t one of their own. He called and called— but he was all alone.

Daylight was fading, but we saw him jump off the edge of the box and stumble over some long blades of grass. Then he disappeared.

To read more from Harriet click here for her stories on SkiUtah.

Free: Baby Robin, well-fed and alert, about to head out to the world. Credit: Harriet Wallis

One Comment

  1. Doug bledsoe says:

    I enjoyed your story about the robin. Some time when we are together I’ll tell you my story about a fiicker. It is kinda funny

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