By Jill Pertler
The sky may not be falling, but in my backyard, baby birds sure are. They are tumbling from their nests like a hot pair of dice during an even hotter game of craps.
My son found the first fatality in the grass near the trunk of a spruce tree, where robins inhabit a nest above. Baby bird lay orange belly up – dead on impact. We buried him in the garden so he can fertilize the soil. Rest in peace baby bird.
We found bird number two in a similar fashion: lying on his back at the base of a tree. This bird was a starling with feathers not yet formed. He, too, is resting in peace in the garden.
Happily, the third baby bird we spotted on the ground this year was not dead. He was alive and sitting in the middle of the road, which was not the safest place (ask any dead skunk). When we returned to check on him minutes later, he’d bird-hopped to the relative shelter of the grassy lawn. At least in this location a car wouldn’t run him over. Although I realize now cars were probably the least of the little guy’s worries.
Bird four was in the driveway, looking like a lost bird. He was covered in downy pre-feathers and flapped his baby wings to establish a sort of flutter fly that lifted him a few feet off the ground.
The abundance of baby birds falling and flutter flying away from the safety of their nests made me wonder about what was happening in my backyard. I did a little research, and it turns out the situation isn’t uncommon or accidental. On rare occasions, it may even involve murder, or in this case, birdicide.